We knew it was coming so I got busy planting squash, melons, and corn, mostly in the North garden as it is chiefly clay. When it gets wet you can’t even walk in it without your feet gathering huge balls of clay mud. In the past I’d gotten tired while planting and figured I’d finish the next day — and it rained. No planting for a week and in our short season climate, a week can make the difference between harvesting mature crops and not. So, I planted and planted and planted. By evening it was mostly done.

The big North garden is nearly all planted. Will planted four varieties of corn and I hand planted squash, pumpkins, and more corn.

Meanwhile, Will was working on the new Wolf road garden. He first dragged the landscape/rock rake over the cleared area, raking off rocks and tree roots. Then he went home and got the big Farmall tractor and plowed it deep. After running the disc over it, it looked really good. But, like me, he ran out of day and it still needed manure spread on it and a final tilling before it could be fenced.

The Wolf garden is ready to spread manure on and get a final tilling with the tractor rototiller

Then it rained — two inches. Then we got another inch with a little more yesterday. Field work stopped but we kept at the Main garden, which still needed some tilling and planting. Because it’s mostly sand, we are able to work in that garden even when it’s wet. Unfortunately, the pigweed seeds had germinated like crazy due to the 90-degree days we’d been having along with the abundant rain. So it needed tilling before I could finish planting. The big TroyBilt horse tiller was stranded in the middle of the North garden and the Mantis was just too small to handle work of that scope. We’d been talking about buying an in between-sized tiller for years and decided we had the money saved now so we’d go ahead and do it so we could continue work. Hahaha!!! Due to the COVID-19 everyone is gardening and there wasn’t a decent tiller to be had anywhere — online, Ebay, local stores — nothing! I finally called a local farm store I had not called and by the grace of God they had one tiller left that had been kind of hidden behind a big mower. And it was just the size we wanted although not a TroyBilt. It was a Cub Cadet. I’ve had great luck with my Cub Cadet riding mower I use not only for mowing the lawn and orchard, but also as an ATV to run from garden to garden. So we tore off and brought the new tiller home.

It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks those bare gardens will look like this (last year!).

I’m so happy! Not only did it quickly till up those pesky pigweed seedlings, but it is super easy for me to start. (I’ve got a calcium deposit in my shoulder and it’s hard for me to pull start equipment that’s stubborn.) I planted the final squash and melons in the Main garden and am tilling up the small, remaining patches in which I’ll be planting a few tomatoes and cauliflower. I also got some more cabbage and broccoli planted. Yea! The rain’s stopping now but there’s a rumor that we could get frost. Please pray we don’t! — Jackie


  1. Have you noticed , almost everything is in short supply. We needed chicken mesh to make protective covers for the beans to give them a good start and keep our overabundant supply of rabbits from cleaning us out like they did with the corn and low and behold unless we wanted to pay $21.00 for a 25 foot roll at our local hardware store there was none to be had No, we didn’t buy it.
    You have to wonder, is the general population getting scared or smart !!!

    • Yes, I know. We even can it instead of spinach. But I don’t want it to cover my whole garden!

  2. Tiller issues here too. Darned if I can find one here either. Boyfriend said wait till all the people find how how “fun” it is to raise a garden and they will be giving them away. Lord, I hope so. Mean while we have to make due with “tank” the big tiller. It is a 1974 Rotor Spader I found on Craig’s list last year. Good luck with you garden.

    • Maybe if folks want to eat, they’ll garden even though it’s a lot of “work”.

  3. Can you use anything on the Pigweed that won’t hurt garden plants? Just curious. Like Kathy above I’m in Oklahoma but haven’t seen it here.

    • We till it under, pull it and mulch. No chemicals for us. We had it in New Mexico so bad we had to take the chainsaw to it the first year. No kidding!

  4. Good luck on the frost. Here in the Copper Basin Alaska we have had two frosts so far in June. I have my sensitive stuff in a green house and two 12 x24 hoop houses so we put heat on the tomatoes when it the greenhouse if it goes below 35. We grow some of our not so sensitive stuff in the hoop house so we can plant earlier. We just got the potatoes in last week because that ground was just getting dry enough to work! So I agree that hoop houses really help extend the season in marginal places.

    • Yes they do! We just planted our potatoes today; we’ve been too busy to get them in earlier. We got down to 32 degrees F with frost on the house roof but not the ground. Whew!

    • So am I! I love that little tiller. Will just got the big TroyBilt running and out of the center of the North garden and the Mantis got a new fuel filter so we have 3 tillers all up and running.

  5. Jackie- here on the east coast we have finally gotten rain too. Not sure how many inches, but a solid rain for the better part of a day. I wonder why we don’t just all grow under hoop houses so we can control the elements…. not enough room I expect! Best of luck to you and thank you for all you do for us fellow gardeners, homesteaders, canners, hunters, etc. Much love from New Hampshire (formerly Minnesota!)

  6. So happy for you that you finally got most of the garden in. The heat came early here in Oklahoma but the garden is doing fine. I’m picking beans every other day and the peas are done. Garlic has been pulled and onions are next. This the season and l love it.

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