With five acres of garden for our seed business and our own use, you can imagine just how busy both Will and I are during this two-week period when nearly all our crops must be gotten in to avoid that inevitable fall frost, which comes way too early most years. While I’ve been planting watermelon, muskmelon, and squash plants, Will has been driving in all those steel T posts to support our tomatoes and their cages. Boy is he ever sore! That is a lot of posts, plus those needed for our pole bean trellises. Besides setting in the plants, I cleaned out the surplus tomatoes after giving a lot away to friends and neighbors and planted row upon row of sweet corn, popcorn, and more bush beans by the dozens. He’s now mulching around those many tomatoes.

No wonder Will is sore. He pounded in a LOT of T posts in two days!
Today, Will’s busy mulching tomatoes, prior to setting cages on them.

Today, I’ve planted our front flower bed with more hostas, the cannas I potted up earlier this spring, and some dahlias I had also started. This afternoon, I’ll be setting out some very nice pepper plants in the Main Garden. We’re so tickled at how wonderful that soil is now. Starting out with sand and lots and lots of very big rocks (I mean truckloads of them!), the dirt is now fluffy black, fertile soil. So beautiful to work in and just look at! That came about by picking rocks for years and adding tons of rotted manure. It sure paid off!

Yesterday, Will tilled the Sand and Central Gardens again. So, I’ll be planting more sweet corn, melons, squash, and beans down there. We have so many isolated gardens to keep our varieties pure. I am so very grateful to have that solar-powered golf cart to run around in. We’ve only had to put it on the charger two times this year, so far. I think that’s so cool — and handy!

My little solar powered golf cart sure saves lots of fuel and steps as some of our gardens are half a mile from the house.

Our first beans are up in the Wolf Garden. With the intermittent rain we’ve been having plus the warmth, everything should germinate very quickly this year.

Our first beans are up! (Gee, I THOUGHT those rows were straight!)

— Jackie


  1. My rows are never straight no matter how hard I try. I’ve been told you can grow more food in a crooked row so I just roll with it, lol. Im amazed at how much work you two can get done. I wish I could keep up with you. My beans are up and tomatoes are looking good so far. Lots of blooms on them. Hopefully we will get some rain tonight. That golf cart has been a real blessing for you. Sending prayers for a blessed week.

    • Thanks Marilyn! We sure love our solar-powered golf cart. It lets me get so much more done with a lot less pain. The ATV was nice, but it killed my knee after a while, throwing my right leg over the back to mount up. I wish I could send you some of our rain. We’re supposed to get another 3″ tonight. Ugh!!

  2. It is really helpful that you share your process and your timing with us. Thank you. Hard work like this always leads to a really good nights sleep.
    How many years has it taken to get the sand garden to the place it is now? I have a new property that has a 4″ sand base laid on top of the topsoil in one particular area. It was used for horses. I know I need to bring in compost but I am just wondering what I can expect (hope) for the process.

    • Well I know the soil where my grandparents lived had a healthy balance of sand – potatoes especially grew well as did all the other veggies they grew. While you may need to amend, some sand might be beneficial. After we amended our annual garden area (compost no manure), we mixed in a bit of sand in the area where we first planted potatoes.
      Strawberries are pretty much done and I will thin out the patch later this summer. Not a bad haul considering we were gone for almost a week (no worries, someone else picked).
      Likely will harvest a summer squash (first one and I suspect be a bit for the next). I knew too early to dig a tater plant but I had to let the “I told you so” moment happen. Will be pruning the tomato plants this weekend.
      We’re in for a hot spell starting Sunday so will do some weeding tomorrow.

    • This is our fourth year with the Sand Garden and it’s very nice soil (except for a few big rocks Will just broke a tine on the tiller on, in the upper corner). With any “problem” soil, just keep pecking away at it and it’ll soon become “good” soil.

  3. I’m amazed at you two! I’ve been a subscriber to BH since it started and love your columns! I am currently rereading your book “Starting Over ” and admire you’re spunky spirit! You’re A great inspiration!

    • It’s amazing to us to look through Starting Over and see all the tremendous changes that have happened along the way. One thing at a time…..

  4. Boy! I am continually AMAZED at how much work you and Will do on a daily basis!
    Your gardens are so beautiful.
    I just love reading these posts, even though I don’t often post a comment.
    You and Will are my heros.
    Do you guys water all of your gardens in the summer months. I know you have mentioned this but my poor feeble brain can’t remember.
    I am really looking forward to seeing your new flower garden as it grows. It sounds so beautiful.

    • No, we can’t easily water two of our five gardens, the North and Wolf Gardens, as they are so far from a water source. So, we pray a lot and it’s always helped. If we should HAVE TO water them, we could haul water out in a 400 gallon poly tank and use the gas-powered pump to power the sprinklers. But it’s a chore we don’t want to have to do, if we can avoid it.

    • Thanks Sandy,

      As we get older, we find we’re taking more breaks, but still keep plugging along. It all seems to get done, not just as fast as we’d sometimes like.

    • Thanks Jan,

      Gee, we ARE getting old. We both had forgotten it!! Holy cow. That’s what rain does to your brain, I guess.

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