We’ve been watering like mad in four out of seven gardens and praying over the others. I’ve about finished the first planting of all of the gardens. Whew, was I ever glad to plant that very last hot pepper! We’re really tickled that the seeds in the new Wolf garden have germinated, nearly 100% and are looking good even though the ground is pretty dry. Luckily, there is some clay out there, mixed with the sand, so it does retain moisture pretty well.

This year I planted a row of mixed lettuce and we’ll be eating salads in about two days. (I like bigger leaves, not “baby lettuce.”)

The weeds sure love the hot, dry weather! We’ve been busy pulling weeds for better than a week now, as the lamb’s quarter and pigweed is about eight inches high among the beans, corn, and even carrots. This morning I weeded and thinned (my least favorite homestead job!) a long row of Kuroda carrots. Now I’m moving on to the little garden next to the chicken house where the Mandan Lavender Parching corn is planted. There’s lots of pigweed so I’m taking a basket and knife out so when I pull a handful of pigweed, I can cut the root end off and save it to steam for dinner tonight. Hey, if we can’t grow a garden for some reason, we can always eat weeds, right?

Here’s a row of beans that have been tilled and weeded between the plants; only 500 more to go…

Will got the Simplicity garden tractor that my son, Bill, gave us out of the barn and tuned it up so I could go out to the North garden and till between the long corn rows and between the pumpkins and squash. But I’d only made a row and a half, and it started to cough and sputter. Luckily, Will hadn’t left yet so he started in tinkering with the carb. No dice. It finally quit and wouldn’t start. Oh, blankety blank! Finally, he found the points weren’t opening like they should. After filing them and again trying it, still no dice. So he started the old TroyBilt Horse and began tilling with that. Even with the cortisone shots in both knees, I’m not up to walking behind a tiller over an acre’s worth of garden. So I went home and continued watering and pulling weeds. This time of the year it’s a never-ending circle.

Isn’t this fancy German iris pretty? It doesn’t mind the drought a bit.

Hopefully Will can get a set of points ordered so next time the North garden needs weeding between the rows I can do it. Meanwhile, we’re enjoying the flowers around the house. My first fancy German iris are starting to bloom, and boy are they ever pretty. I love the iris as they laugh at the drought and sun. The one that’s blooming today smells like grape juice. How cool is that? — Jackie


  1. Hi Jackie,

    On that old Simplicity garden tractor not running; When I had mine the carb bowl would fill with crap (rust, etc) and you had to clean it out and clean out the main jet, a persistent problem with mine. maybe install a filter? Hope this helps, Lew

  2. Thankyou Jackie, I do hope you’ve had some rain by now. I’ve been drooling over some of hour books for so long, I have a couple but would love more. Unfortunately the cost of postage from America to Australia is way too high now so I just drool. Sigh. The news we are getting here about the problems in the USA is becoming really scary, I do hope you and your friends and family stay safe. Interesting times yes but I think I prefer less interesting times.

    • Yes, I am also wishing for “less interesting” times! It looks like we’re in for a huge wave of COVID this go-round. We are very, very careful about wearing masks, not going out among people and using lots of hand washing and sanitizer. All the more reason to stay home where we love it…. I’m sorry about the high postage. I have folks in Canada who’d love the books but can’t afford the postage. That’s a shame.

  3. I love that iris plant. Do you remember where you got it? I don’t know how you keep up with the huge garden you plant? We planted asparagus and strawberries this spring. They are doing well but have had to weed. We finally put wood chips in the garden to keep the weeds down. So far it is doing well. Got this idea from Back to Eden gardener Paul G. (can’t remember his last name) from eastern Washington state. Apparently the wood chips decompose over time and add minerals to the soil for nice produce that is sweet. Then if you have chickens throw the garden waste into the chickens. Apparently they love it and produce soil that can be put back on the garden. But I’m too old to do that much work in the garden although I wished I could as I love to garden. I used to work out in the garden (flower and vegetable) all day sometimes. But not anymore. I’m in Michigan and we have rain, but then the temps are in the high 80’s or 90’s and it gets dry before it decides to rain again and we have to water.

    • I got the iris through Breck’s Iris Lover’s catalog. I’ve bought several varieties and they’re all doing nicely. This year is the first we’ve used wood shavings in the garden although I’ve used wood chip mulch in my flower beds for years. We’ve been having high temperatures this year, too and I just don’t do well in the heat. But we’re doing and things are growing.

  4. Wow! Love the German Iris flower… where can I get one? My sister loves Iris and I’d like to get one for her. Mom passed this time last year but I still have her in my garden. She was forever giving me her separated Iris and Peonies from her garden. I love to see her flowers thriving and blooming and know she is always with me!

    • I got my Iris from Breck’s Iris Lover’s catalog. They have lots that really wow you! Mom is with me, too, although she’s been gone for several years now. I still find myself saying “Wow Mom, look at that flower!”

  5. Sorry, I shake my head at planting lettuce, cauliflower and cabbage right now….. All here have bolted and gone to seed. We are under a heat advisory in N. Central TX. In about 4-8 weeks, I will start planting seeds for my fall and winter garden. At 7:30, it is still 90 degrees. We were forcasted to hit triple digit today, but I think we got only up to about 97. But with 60-80% humidity…… As to rain…. We have almost hit our yearly total average already. Sadly, we keep verging onto “micro droughts” between the rain (2-6″ at a time and then 2-4 weeks of no rain). With the vegetation growing with the rain spurts, those spells of no rain are SCARY for fires. However, we should have hay here. I noted the other day some folks were getting up there 2nd cutting (where I used to live, it would be time for 1st cutting). Shows the vast differences within this great nation that most of us live in.

    • Yep, there are big differences although we’ve been having a heat wave with temps in the 90’s and high 80’s for several weeks which is unusual here in Northern Minnesota. We’ve finally gotten some rain so we’re rejoicing.

    • Not a whole lot of energy; I just keep plodding along and usually everything but the housework gets done…..

  6. We, too, are crazy busy keeping everything weeded and watered. Not much rain here in our part of Michigan either. Hang in there and thanks for the update!

  7. Seems we have had the opposite problem. It’s been so wet here in southeast Ohio that all the gardens were late getting planted. I’m not sure if our cabbage is going to head. We have beautiful big leaves but no heads. My mother in law said we probably planted in the wrong sign. Same thing is going on with the cauliflower.

    • I’m not much of a sign-gardener. I plant when I can, depending on the weather. Usually when the weather cools a bit the cabbages and cauliflower will start to head. Hang in there!

    • It seems like everywhere the weather’s been crazy in one way of another. We are just getting ready to hay and the hay crop is very spotty this year due to the drought.

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