When Glenn first moved here, he built a fine garden with a good fence and drip irrigation.
He had to work with rocky soil, but he manipulated it and developed a great growing medium. He worked the soil thoroughly with the tractor, until the hard dirt turned into something soft and manageable. He plowed it with a large tiller, laying out his garden in standard rows. He walked over every square inch, removing all the rocks he could find. Using aged turkey manure that he got for free from the nearby turkey farm, which he believes was mixed with mostly pine needles, he added about a 4 to 5″ thick layer, right on top of each row, then worked it into the soil.
Piggyback tubing is very durable. The little water holes do not get clogged. This is what he used for the drip irrigation set up, and he put a brass shut off at the end of each row.
It was a big garden. He planted cantaloupe, black eye peas, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut and acorn squash, cucumbers, beets, radishes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, bell peppers, okra, watermelons, sweet potatoes, onion, tomatoes. The sweet potatoes were his only failure. The end where they were planted was a little low compared to the rest of the garden, and it caught all the run-off. So they were over-watered. The slips grew, but the potatoes were all twisted and gnarly.
He checked his garden every morning. Early in the growing season, if he saw any sign of bug damage, he would sprinkle a bit of sevin dust on the tiny little seedlings. He made a habit of pulling the weeds up by the roots, and casting them into the isles between the rows. Thus, overtime the dead weeds provided a perfect carpeting, which kept the mud off his shoes.
The plants grew to be huge, lush, and prolific. We had so much good food, that we froze and canned all we could, passed it out to family and friends, and still had plenty for the local food pantry. Of all the gardens we have grown over the years, this one was far and away, the best. More than once, the spring rains have come like a deluge, washing up our seeds, or newly sprouted plants. Other years, the garden got so wet because of too much rain, that the weeds totally got away from us before we could get in there to clean it up. Nothing like that happened this particular year. It was as though God was in that garden.
Glenn worked very hard, and made it into a thing of awesome wonder! We’ve had other good gardens, though some years it hasn’t worked out. We always hope for a chance at one like this again. And for that reason we keep trying, year after year.