...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cleaning Up

"...they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept."
Song of Solomon 1:6

Restoring a neglected garden is serious work. Just look at my face! This past week, I've been involved in community service projects around my fine city, along with a couple hundred others. I've been doing plenty of outdoor work--weeding to the point that my hands looked like claws and I could no longer make a fist--but none of that benefited my own garden. Today was the first day back home, and my faithful garden was still there, but looking rather dry and scruffy. I'd give it a few shots of water here and there through the week, but that was about it.
This is how it looked a couple of weeks ago. I hoped to get back to that. So...what is involved in bringing back a vegetable garden to high production levels? My day included the following:

  • Harvest what's ready to be harvested--for me, that meant some broccoli, lettuce, carrots, Brussels sprouts and a lone cucumber.

  • Give it a good soaking--laying the hose in the dirt and letting it slowly soak the ground, periodically moving it to a new patch of ground. The roots will grow deeper and the leaves won't scorch in the heat if you use this method of watering in the hot season.

  • Weed and prune like an artist--in other words, don't get so involved you don't know when to quit.

  • Spray for both bugs and fungus. (Make sure this one happens after you harvest for the day.)

  • Take the prunings and apply them to the compost heap--and wet it down if it's gone dry. Make sure you don't accidentally get a stray weed complete with roots in there, or you'll have a healthy crop of weeds in your compost bin.

There now--that's much better!

Happy tidying!


  1. I see that you spray for bugs and fungus...any ideas to keep things from eating my tomatoes? I get so excited that I will finally have a couple, then I go out the next day when they should be ready to find something has tasted to see if it was any good!

  2. Robin...I haven't had too much trouble with bugs in my tomatoes this year--I tend to have more trouble with fungus than bugs--but here's a link I like a lot for garden helps on a variety of topics. This one is relates to stink bugs in the tomatoes, which might be your problem. If not, check out some of their other videos.