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A Little Bit Of Garden Success

garden success

We were out of town for a few weeks and I didn’t know what our garden would look like when we arrived back home. It was quite overgrown with weeds, but we managed to find a few nice vegetables in the mix also. It was great to come home to corn stalks taller than me and an abundance of beans. I think we are finally getting a few successful results out of our gardening attempts.

Corn

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I have tried planting corn 2 or 3 other times in the past with absolutely zero success. A friend of mine suggested adding nitrogen fertilizer or using 17-17-17 once the corn was shin high and then again once the tassles started to form. I went ahead and tried it as I was desperate to get some corn out of the garden. It worked. I have to assume it was the 17-17-17 fertilizer that did the trick this time. I had also spread a mix of new topsoil and compost across the ground before planting seeds again, which I am sure helped the situation. My first seeds barely came up in the bad soil that we have and I had to replant.

At any rate… In my excitement, I picked 2 ears of corn for trial when we got home from our trip. It was a little early, but they were grown enough to eat and tasted fantastic. I won’t touch them again now until the rest of them are good and ready for picking.

Purple Beans

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I thought the kids would get a kick out of the purple beans vs normal green beans… They did and were quite amazed when the beans turned green while cooking them. I knew this would happen as I had planted these once before, but the kids were babies at that time and have no recollection. We were a little late on picking them, and they overgrew slightly. We were still able to eat them, although a little tough. We had a few that were good eating size, but I quite honestly prefer the taste of normal green beans. I think it was the Blue Lake Bush Bean that I have liked best in the past. I will have to look for those seeds next year.

Cucumbers

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Well, well the cucumbers that look like overgrown squash… They were just starting to blossom when we left out of town on our trip and only a few weeks later we arrived home to find them way overgrown and most of them yellowing. We did get a few decent ones out of the bunch that I attempted pickling. I’ll let you know how they turn out in a few months. It has been years since I went through the pickling process and that was with hard boiled eggs in college. Same process, just hadn’t done vegetables before. I never got sick off the eggs, so we should be fine. I just used a simple off the shelf seasoning mix for the pickles vs coming up with some crazy and spicy hot concoction like I did with pickled eggs in college.

My neighbor also gave us some nice cucumbers as well that made it into our pickling. I had sent the kids out to find any potential decent cucumbers and they came back with a small bag from the neighbor. The neighbor had handed the bag to the kids while they were in the garden and told them to give these to your Mom and Dad. My neighbors have a really awesome garden and definitely know what they are doing when it comes to gardening. They have passed on a few vegetables for us in the past also.

Potatoes

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I unsuccessfully planted potatoes 1 other time about 5 or 6 years ago when we lived in Illinois. I think I was able to harvest 3 or 4 really small potatoes at the time. I can’t remember why it didn’t work out at the then, but I know I didn’t have a ton of success with much of anything at that time. Regardless, we planted 4 mounds of potatoes this year in Minnesota. I bought 2 seed potatoes and cut them in half, so I could plant 4. 1 of them rotted and died and I believe might be because I planted them immediately after cutting them in half.

Anyways, one of the plants grew really fast and we had a pretty big mound before leaving out of town for a few weeks. We returned home to find the leaves starting to yellow on that particular mound and the other 2  plant mounds had taken off quite well. We dug up the first mound with the yellowing leaves to find some really nice looking potatoes. The kids thought it was pretty awesome. We ended up getting enough potatoes out of that 1 plant mound for 3 family meals. I really didn’t know what to expect out of them and was pretty happy with that. I think we’ll plant quite a few more next year.

Summary

I’ll probably circle back one more time this year to share any other garden success that we have. Hopefully it is a good report on the final results of the corn, the rest of the potatoes and the watermelons that are growing. I’ll let you know how the pickles turned out also. It actually was fairly easy to do the canning, although it took a little time to make sure I had everything that I needed. It wasn’t all that bad though. It kind of reminded me of brewing beer a little bit, which I haven’t done in a really long time. I may have to get my equipment out and get a batch going this fall. Summer is just about over and then comes my most favorite time of the year… Fall! Thanks for reading and let me know of you have any gardening tips for me.

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