hi hoe, hi hoe

Hi hoe, hi hoe... it's off to work I go.  

Actually I feel a bit like going off to work, as in my job, is almost a vacation... I think I spent most of Saturday and quite a bit of Sunday in the garden... and if you count mowing lawn for 3 hours on Sunday, well most of Sunday then too.  And I have to say, this may be the ONLY time this summer that you see a weed free garden!  The weather was fabulous this past weekend AND we are supposed to get some rain this week which we all know equals weeds.  Those teeny, tiny weeds sprout into 3 foot ones over night when you get a few days of rain... soooo I got busy in the gardens.

Have you ever used an action hoe?  Well for a large area it is the way to go... I still have to hand weed around actual plants/rows but this little baby takes care of everything else.  We've had this tool for years and years.  At our prior home it wasn't used much, with smaller flower beds it really isn't that useful.  Here, it's the tool, after my own hands, that get used the most.

Of course it takes more than just weeding to have a successful garden.  It takes lots and lots of sunlight (and hopefully sunSHINE).  Our vegetable garden gets light from the minute the sun comes up in the morning until the sun goes down at night.  No shade, at all.

This then leads to the next item... water.  Lots and lots of water.  You'd think this would be a bit obvious but I don't think a lot of gardeners water enough.

Support is also a requirement for some things... like tomatoes.  I don't bother with tomato cages, if there's a trick to using them I don't know what it is.  I use old metal fence posts and plastic ties on my tomatoes.

And I've been diligently using these little hog wire "tepees" for my cucumbers.  I saw this somewhere and supposedly the cucumbers grow over them and the fruit hangs down inside for picking... plus it's supposed to keep the cucumbers from curling up since they dangle.  Now here's the diligent part... my cucumbers do NOT want to grow over these no matter what I try.... I've sort of resigned myself to the fact that they are just large markers to show me where to water by the end of July and August when the cucumbers are growing everywhere BUT on these.

One thing I've learned from gardening is to learn from doing AND from mistakes.  Take for instance the humble cilantro plant.  I tried growing this year after year and ended up with scraggly plants that turned to seed overnight... I kid you not!  A couple of years ago I didn't even bother... much to my delight I suddenly had volunteers of cilantro all around the water spigot.

Now I purposely let some of it go to seed and I have tons of cilantro each year.  In fact it grows everywhere and I actually have to weed it out of the garden in some areas.  And the bees like it when it flowers!

Another plant that needs "my support" is peas... I grow them on this rusty, vintage freebie of a windmill my husband brought home.

This year I added some left over netting (from my beans) so that the pea tendrils can really get a good grip.  Some years they've flopped over when they reach full height, I'm hoping this netting will allow them a bit more stability... we'll see if this is a win or a miss of an idea...

My little greenhouse in the background also works hard each year.  A spot for seed starting, for growing San Marzano tomatoes and peppers, as well as a spot to hold all my garden junk tools.

And probably the most important part of the garden....

The dirt of course!  We're fortunate to have sandy loam soil at Red Gate Farm.  Everything grows well, it's easy to weed BUT does take a lot of water compared to soil with more clay.

Before you know it, I'll be harvesting more than just some radishes... and this year I even have a super cute little berry cart to use!  Can't you see me wheeling this little guy around the garden, full of cucumbers and tomatoes?

Speaking of harvest... my dandelion field now looks like this.

And it's corn!  In 9 years this is a first.  I'm kind of excited for fall and the towering stalks that it will bring!

So.... how does your garden grow?

Hopefully spring and almost summer has reached your little part of the world and it's doing great,


  1. We have LOTS of weeds due to the nearly non-stop rain we are having... can hardly find a time to get out there and just do it! Crazy weather this year for so many of us.

  2. Wow, your garden is amazing and it must be so productive with all of that sunshine! I think using the windmill for your peas is genius. The netting should help keep them up. My peas fell over this year but they shouldn't have, they top out at 2 ft and I planted them along a trellis. I can't wait to see more of your garden!

  3. There's no doubt about it, gardening is hard work and it really never ends! But I do love it and the rewards are amazing, at least most of the time. Everything looks so good there, as always. And I especially love the peas on the windmill - functional and oh so cute!

  4. Your garden looks stunning! My doesn't seem to be doing so great this year. A lot of sporadic plantings. I believe I have a mole and he is eating some of my seeds and plants! Oh well, I guess I can share!
    Got most of the lawn mowed on Sunday, before my mower deck went out. Hubby is out of town on business so he can't get to it for awhile. Been eating radishes and strawberries, but nothing else is even close!

  5. Just picked the last of my strawberries out of my garden for the year. Sad. Just finished weeding again the other night. What in the world is an action hoe? I MUST know more!

  6. I have a tool like yours and We have called it the Hula Hoe. I haven't seen them in the stores for a long while, but I agree is is a great tool. Your gardens are impressive...I have just a zucchini, jack b little pumpkins and some bottle gourds I am trying to grow. I admire you for I know all the work that goes into a garden that size. It is amazing.

  7. wow! you have worked wonders into that patch of ground! we haven't started harvesting much here yet!


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