The fields of home, this is the only one we use now. Times are different than when I was a child, but more so for Pap. He can recall when his family would plant up to 4 fields. One in corn, two in potatoes, and one for all the other vegetables. Pap’s earliest memories about farming are of his father share cropping over 100 acres of land.
I can remember Pap, Granny, my brothers and I having a garden and then also having a shared potato patch with my grandparents. Today it seems there is hardly time to have one small garden and do everything else that is required of us.
I’ve been gathering gardening wisdom from the folks I know, and many of you have kindly left some as well. The tips are varied but all relate to gardening. I hope you try some of them, and if you do-I hope they work.
- add a little 10-10-10 fertilizer to the row as you plant potatoes
- grand-pap said a crooked row would grow more corn than a straight one
- cucumber and squash do well if you plant them in a mound and give them plenty of room to grow
- tomatoes do better if you change the location you plant them each year
- best way to plant a garden-let the grandkids do it
- Mother said when the field was plowed and ready that was sign enough to plant.
Henry & Sue’s Wisdom
- add chicken manure to enrich soil
- rows work just as well for squash and cucumbers as mounds
- add leaves to garden in the fall to enrich the soil
- tomatoes do well planted through the leaves
- place a fish under each tomato plant (they haven’t tried this one, just heard about it)
- use compost on garden or just plant in the compost
- candy corn was their favorite but they also liked ambrosia
- tried how sweet it is but don’t know how it tasted because the cows ate it
- place banana peels around roses
- Soil tip: be sure to check the ph balance with a ph test kit. For most gardens, a ph of 6.2 to 7 is good
- If your garden has acidic soil, add bone meal, wood ash, or lime
- If the soil is too alkaline, add shredded leaves, bark, aged bagged manure, and compost
- For pumpkins-plant in a hill of cow manure-the kind that is in the yellow bag and is cooked or something to prevent all the weed/grass/flower seeds from germinating.
- If you get the squash vine borer bugs you have to literally perform surgery on them plant-slice open the stem where they are, squish them all, then push the sliced stem into the dirt, it doesn’t kill the plant.
- I heard from an old-timer that manure is the key to any garden success.
- My Great-Grandpa always planted his corn on a certain day (which I can’t seem to remember right now) and it needed to be “knee high by the 4th of July” in order to get a good crop.
- My grandmother planted flowers around the garden to keep the bugs away. I think it was marigolds.
- This garden tip really works. We grow tomatoes every year and some years the ripening goes a little slow and there are green tomatoes still on the vine at the end of the growing season. We were told by our grandmother years ago to put an apple that is beginning to go bad under the tomato vines on the ground. As the apple goes bad the ethylene gas vapors cause the tomatoes to ripen quicker.
- We really liked golden bantam and early sunglow corn, the ears were so good you could just go out and pick an ear, shuck it , and eat it raw right in the field. YUM.
- We prefer new zealand spinach, it is slow to bolt.
- Also, mccaslin green beans-they are vining , not bush. I remember my Dad stringing strings at the side of the carport and growing the best mccaslins!
- I always planted several rows of flowers, as amongst the veggies, they always were so pretty. Also planted lot of the pearls and gold or sugar and cream corn. Ymmmm.
- Another favorite was the heirloom variety seeds of moons and stars watermelons. Little but oh so sweet.
Thank you to everyone who gave or left a tip. I’ll leave you one more of Pap’s tips- The best way to plant a garden is to let the grandkids do it!