Thursday, December 11, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Yes Officer...I Killed My Garden

"We've got a live one here...."

"Ma'am, do you know why I pulled you over?"

My futile search for a peace offering pastry ends quickly. "Yes," I say. "I killed my garden. IT WAS MEEEHEEEHEEE!!"

"You'll have to come with me." 


Many of you know that I have struggled for a long time getting a productive garden to grow where we live. I have tried for many years to get tomatoes to do more than stare at me and make me GUESS what I'm doing wrong. The plants look fine, they just don't give any fruit! I've heard advice much like, "Have you given it enough water?" Yep. "Have you given it fertilizer?" Yep. "Have you prepped the soil with mulch." YESSS! Etc...etc...etc. It is a good thing that they can't put you away for killing...plants. Because I'd be on death row right now. As I look at the jury, "I really didn't mean was an accident!" Mmmhmmm!...TO THE GALLEYS!!! 

Some of my problem is the bermudagrass fairy, some of it is the clay, or some of it might even be chemicals added to the water (when it rains, my plants sometimes come back from the dead... zombie plants? Maybe). Even though I seem to be full of excuses, I really have tried. When we lived in the junk yard (you might think I'm kidding) we had a little garden, and even with all the ground squirrels, our garden did way better. So, I know it isn't me...per say. When we lived there, the dirt was more loose and sandy. That might have something to do with it. 

I recently came across a gardening system that I can digest (step by step with promised yields) - but you have to follow the instructions. You can pay for CD's to teach you how to do it, orrrrrr.... you can watch how Youtube channel LDSPrepper does it. He and "Mrs. LDSPrepper" take it step by step and show you where to download the guides, fertilizer recipes and all the juicy details. You should see their tomatoes (...suppressing the jealousy....and....ok its gone)! You can't get this kind of juice reading tabloids at any supermarket!

Here is a playlist of several videos. There are many hours of watching enjoyment. 

Already I have learned some tricks that I am going to implement in my winter garden. 

#1 - Clay doesn't work to grow anything productive. Equal parts sand and pine shavings are a great medium that leaves a nice loose place for roots to flourish. This is done in a "grow box".

#2 - If you fertilize once a week, the plants will have enough energy to not only produce, but to GO NUTS!!!!

#3 - If your fertilizer has all 16 nutrients that plants need (actually only 13, because they get 3 from the air) - they have enough to do their job.

#4 - Vertical gardening can save you TONS of space. 

#5 - Much much more!

This video shows his harvest of potatoes when he used 3 sweet potatoes he harvested 139 pounds of them! CRAZEE!!

Why would I care so much that I have a producing garden? President Spencer W. Kimball said this:

We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. Study the best methods of providing your own foods. Make your garden as neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities.10
I hope that we understand that, while having a garden … is often useful in reducing food costs and making available delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, it does much more than this. Who can gauge the value of that special chat between daughter and Dad as they weed or water the garden? How do we evaluate the good that comes from the obvious lessons of planting, cultivating, and the eternal law of the harvest? And how do we measure the family togetherness and cooperating that must accompany successful canning? Yes, we are laying up resources in store, but perhaps the greater good is contained in the lessons of life we learn as we live providently. 11
So, planting and harvesting food is only half of the reason we've been asked to have a garden. It is about teaching these valuable skills to our children. What better way to teach "you reap what you sow" than for them to actually do it!

I am very lucky that I can't be sent to jail for killing my garden plants...( I think it is in the 3rd degree for negligence or indifference). I'm not even going to address how many pets have lost their lives in the cause of teaching my kids responsibility though... The good thing is, I can keep trying. If all I have to do with this system is feed and water (with the right medium for the roots to grow), I hope to have more success. I will let you know how my experimenting goes. 

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