The Fields of Home

Fields of home

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.

Pap’s Wisdom

  • 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

Francis’s Wisdom

  • 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

Jen’s Wisdom

  • 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

Adventure Racing Man’s Wisdom

  • 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.

Scout’s Wisdom

  • I heard from an old-timer that manure is the key to any garden success.

Paula’s Wisdom

  • 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.

Miss Cindy

  • My grandmother planted flowers around the garden to keep the bugs away. I think it was marigolds.

Egghead’s Wisdom

  • 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.

Debbie’s Wisdom

  • 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!

De’s Wisdom

  • 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!


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  • Reply
    April 17, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Hi there! I love your plot. I grew up west of Seattle with a garden 1/3 that size and now I have a tiny 12×4′ raised bed for summer bounty. I can’t wait to see more pics of everything growing! I still need to clean out the debris from last year – new baby=no garden, just weeds last summer. =)

  • Reply
    April 13, 2008 at 12:27 am

    gee…i am just learning how to garden in the north country. not sure when will be able to plant anything since we got anothe two feet of snow on the ground, again! the big thing around here is trying to figure how to keep the deer out…BUILD A BIG FENCE?!!

  • Reply
    noble pig
    April 12, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    You should do just fine with all that advice. I can’t wait to see what grows!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Though I don’t garden I love the tradition of growing and preserving your own food. A garden is a beautiful thing! I have a friend who has a garden every year. He grows the food and I can/freeze/dry it and we split it. I think that is a good deal!
    My grandmother always had a big garden. She put up almost everything they ate. That is what people used to do. They were much more self sufficient than we are today. She had milk cows for milk, butter, and buttermilk. She had chickens for eggs and—well chicken. She had hogs for pork and sausage. Those were good days, I guess, but they were hard days. That lifestyle is HARD WORK!
    I love what you are doing with your Blog!!!

  • Reply
    trisha too
    April 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Pap’s advice is the BEST EVER!
    We always clean out the chicken coop in the fall onto the garden and let it sit over the winter.
    Our garden is smaller by far than yours, but we still love it! The mint and the chives are back, but the strawberries look saaadddd.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    GREAT tips! We’re planting our first vegetable garden this year, I am looking forward to it!!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2008 at 9:57 am

    This makes me want to get out and get my hands in the dirt. It’s been a really rainy spring here, so no planting going on yet, though our spring flowers are all blooming. Great tips! I’m going to be checking back on this post when I’m putting my garden in this year!

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    April 11, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Wonderful post! Thanks for listing everyone here, so helpful. Lovely photos, it’s great to see where you live and the flowers blooming already and field plowed, kids working – wow!

  • Reply
    Bobbi in KY
    April 10, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Always plant garden stuff during the new moon-from my grandmother-and it works
    Plant flowers during a full moon-if you plant garden stuff then it will bloom and bloom but no vegetables/fruit will set on.
    And the banana peel with roses works-they need potassium
    and if deer/bugs are bothering your garden-don’t use pesticides-sprinkle everything with lime-it will act as a fertilizer-is non-toxic – and deer won’t eat it-Our farm is covered with deer/crows/and other critters-and they’ve never bothered our garden-and we’ve never used a pesticide yet

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