For more than a month we’ve been experiencing above normal temperatures along with plenty of rain. So just like last year was the worst gardening year for us, this is the very best. For instance, there’s the old farmer’s saying corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July.” Here it is before the Fourth and our sweet corn is thigh high and growing by leaps and bounds! Likewise, everything else is growing super nice too.

Our sweet corn is up to our thighs.

We’ve been busy though; besides the vegetables growing so well, the weeds are growing where we haven’t gotten mulch down yet. Yesterday I went out in the morning and got the long rows of potatoes tilled with our Mantis tiller so there is plenty of loose dirt to hill them up once again. I finished in the rain but I finished. Then it cut loose and rained all day. So I washed clothes and finished an article about beans. (After all, our pole beans are astounding this year, topping the 4½ foot cattle panel trellises by a foot or more!) Then I baked a pie. Meanwhile, just after supper, the rain quit and we were able to sleep better because the temperatures went down to the low 50’s.

See how tall our Iroquois pole beans are already?

Today we’re mulching the sweet corn in the Sand garden. While I tilled the corn the day before yesterday, Will and Alisha got busy and took the south end off of our training ring barn and Will bucketed load after load of rotted manure out into the garden where they carefully side-dressed the beans and melons. When you grow on a new plot of land, it’s important to ensure the plants have adequate fertilizer to grow big. The end of the garden where the corn and pumpkins are received lots of rotted manure this spring — the other end, not so much. Now the plants are all happy and mulched with lots of Reed Canary grass.

Will and Alisha busy mulching the Sand garden.

I’d like to wish all of you a very happy Fourth of July and remember, no matter how unhappy some of us may be with the government/politics, etc., there’s no other place in the world to enjoy the freedom we have. I know I appreciate it every single day.

Happy Fourth of July!

— Jackie


  1. Everything is looking great Jackie! Glad that you’re getting rain. Very dry few weeks here where we are located in Michigan. Thanks for the updates!

    • I’d love to send you some of our rain! It’s so wet in the North and Central gardens we can’t even walk in them. But the weeds love it!!

  2. Your gardens look amazing, Jackie! We have had a 5-6″ rain deficit for the year here so far and August temperatures in June. That makes for a pretty lousy gardening year, BUT we just started getting rain again this week. I had to pull up some withered and sad tomato plants earlier in the week and I discovered another reason my ‘mater patch did so badly this year: root knot nematodes! Ugh. It was even in a new bed with new soil, but it is what it is. I wondered if you ever experienced that, too? Meanwhile, enjoy that corn and your lovely porch. Looks wonderful.

  3. My gardens are gang busters this year too. Timely rains. We had fresh peas in white cream sauce and new baby red potatoes a flavorful favorite. We then harvested peas and froze them. The seeds I got from you are doing great. The hidasta shield beans are 4 1/2 feet tall. I planted a lot of beans for dry use and they are really setting on the beans. Soon I’llhave to turn my attention to cutting wood. Thesummer storms have brought down some trees. IGreat to see your gardens and I truly enjoyed my time there. Everett Lindsey

    • Creamed peas and new potatoes? Sigh. My favorite summer dish. Our peas are just blooming as are the potatoes. Won’t be long now for us! Drool…drool. Yep, we’ve got some wood cutting to do too but thank God we’ve already got a year and half’s worth already in the shed from last summer and piles more along the driveway, ready to put inside. I love having wood stocked up. (I’ve been cold and hungry in my earlier life and have had to go out during snowstorms to try to find firewood to get me through the night.) Stocking up ahead of time is much better!! We enjoyed having you here for our seminar too, Everett.

  4. Happy 4th to you and the family. Yellow squash has all been picked. Got quite a bit before squash bugs got it. How do you stop them? Meanwhile I’m up to my armpits in tomatoes. Canning them will start in the morning. It’s either to hot for to long here or way to much rain. Need to teach the veggies to swim l guess.

    • Squash bugs are terrible. Some folks have success netting their plants; others use pyrethrins to dust or spray. Luckily we don’t have them. Too cold, I guess, in the winter; it kills them. Canning tomatoes? Wow! Mine are still few and far between and the ones that are on this early are still green. Yeah, we need life preservers for our crops too.

  5. Four FEET tall??? Holy mackerel, Ginger! But you ARE a bit south of us….. lol. Happy Fourth!

  6. I’ve heard that saying all my life about the corn being knee high by the 4th of July. But let me share a little story. I live in east Tennessee and when I was young (probably 10-12), my parents were late getting the corn planted – we ended up sowing it ON the 4th of July! Everyone said it would never make anything but my Dad talked about that corn crop for the rest of his life – it ended up being the best crop EVER for us! Maybe just a fluke or dumb luck but I’ve always kept that in my mind – just in case!

  7. Your place looks great!! I love your gardens. This will not be my best gardening year due to illness. I have a very small garden this year since I had a heart attack in April. So everything it going well and a week ago started with high fevers etc. Well this weekend got the bullseye rash and bingo Lymes. I cant even walk to the garden for a week or more. So today I saw the ravishment of the potato beetle larvae. What happens to the plants now. I have a row that the larva have eaten the leaves. Do they survive. I tried picking some off today but only could do 3 plants. Started antibiotic today. So is this worth trying to save the good plants?

    What happens to those plants who have no leaves? Are the potatoes growing? If you can advise what maybe to do I may be able to try it.

    Thank you

    • Check my answer on the previous blog. Yep, I’ve had the bulls eye rash/Lymes treatment twice now. Not fun, but it’s good to catch it early.

      The plants with no leaves will usually grow more if you are able to get rid of the potato beetle larvae. I’d spray with Btt or powder or spray with pyrethrins aggressively. You should be able to save your potato crop. Hang in there, gal!

  8. The petunias on your porch are really pretty. I have 3 baskets but every day I have to pick off the dead ones to keep it looking nice. I had a stalk of corn growing in my flower garden, probably from the squirrel feed, and pulled it. Then I thought I should have left it as my brothers are farmers, and asked if their corn was as tall as mine. I remembered the “knee high by the 4th of July” saying from my growing up on the farm. Mine was taller than my knees. But I guess it matters how tall you are to. Your gardens look great. I’m jealous as I haven’t been able to garden for 2 years due to back problems. Have gardened pretty much all my life. Enjoy reading your blog for some years now.

    • Yep, we get some sunflowers and corn popping up in strange places. I usually let it grow, just for fun. I’m shorter than short so my knees are short. But Alisha is tall and it’s up to her thighs, too.
      I’ve got a bad back, bad knee and two hips broken in a horse accident in my late teens. So I sympathize with you fully. I’m glad you get enjoyment out of my blog.

      • Jackie, the fact that you do what you do in spite of bad back, bad knee and previous injuries is an inspiration to us all to keep going — even if the pace is slower.

        I think that is what keeps us alive and going. My father scoffs at my dream to have a homestead and be able to garden again. “Yeah, at your age, you’re going to garden – hah!”, he often says. (I’m 56 years.)

        I keep reminding him that my grandmother (his mother) gardened right up to two years before her death. And she died at 101 years!

        She believed God gave us everything we need in nature and often said, “of course you have to take care of yourself, who else is going to take care of you? Why should you have buy food when the land is meant to provide it for you?”. She believed every day that she woke up alive meant God had something He wanted her to do that day, even if it was just gardening or laundry.

  9. Yes, no other like it, that is why it is so popular! The corn here in Iowa is about 4 feet tall, the excess rain has really everything going full blast!
    Happy 4th to your folk!

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