19 votes

Daily Paul Gardens: The jrd Edition

My friend’s parents have somewhere between 10 and 15 (I always forget exactly how much, but it is in that general range) acres of property. Her Mom is a master gardener and every summer since high school I have spent a lot of time on that property helping with gardening and various landscaping tasks. String-trimming, rototilling, mowing, branch cutting…the whole works. Her parents are getting older and doing a lot less on the land and the past 3 summers they have given me a lot more responsibility and land to work with. This is what I have going on this summer.

First; the flowers.
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This picture below is one of my favorites. Two summers ago I began referring to this basket as the basket of death. It had shriveled and died and it was what was thought to be a lost cause. My friend’s Mom was about to throw it to the field and get rid of it, but I argued its case and told her I would bring it back to life. And after much picking of the dead leaves, watering, and rotating; it lives!

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And the roses….

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Moving on to the trees. Their property over runneth with trees. Mostly pine trees, a lot of Jack pines. A few elm trees, a black oak or two, a few willow trees down by the pond and these two trees. I helped put the top tree in the ground quite a few years back and I love watching it grow and the bottom one is just cool.

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And the actual garden plots. This year we only have two going on, in the past there have been up to 4, but all I can handle is 2 this summer.
The back garden is going to need a lot of tender love and care over the next couple weeks. It got off to a late start and it is in rough shape. However, there is pumpkin, squash, and rhubarb planted back here. I’ll update the pics in the fall if everything grows as planned.

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And the front garden has tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, corn, and potatoes.

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Last summer my friend’s mom had heard through the grapevine that putting down straw works as mulch and helps preserve moisture. It worked well last summer, and that is what is all over the gardens. Admittedly we got a really late start this summer, so we will see how it goes.

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bigmikedude's picture


For Jen. Looks great, and peaceful J.

Mine is producing but is fading fast again this year. Way too much rain and humidity. Leaves are literally falling off plants with bacterial leaf spot because of the conditions. Tomatoes, peppers, etc..

An entire row of about 300 red potatoes are laying left on the ground out there to rot after I plowed them up today. The bug damage was so bad they are useless for long term storage, and about half of the whites were the same or rotted. Only some of the yellows are worthy of storage, but I don't even have enough pristine potatoes this year to bother with the potato pit again this year. Just too wet, humid, hot, and buggy. Basically out of 160 feet of potatoes, I may have scored two five gallon buckets worth of pristine undamaged potatoes. The rest were either too damaged to store, or total waste, rotted, and some of what was left, plow damaged at harvest.

Squash and Zuchs are long dead from molds and squash bugs.

Grapes all have blossom end rot and japanese beetles devastated 50% of the leaves. It was pointless to powder because of the constant daily rains.

At least I have some good looking spaghetti squashes, but then those grow in about any condition and are too tough for most bugs, so it isn't saying much. And how many spaghetti squashes can someone actually eat... Lol One plant makes about 10 and I had 6 plants.

The weather here can suck bad for gardening on humid wet years.

I still get quantities I can't even use all of but some things I can lose most of like the potatoes this year, potentially the hot peppers, and a few other things. If it dries up a bit, the peppers should outgrow the leaf spot, but only time will tell. The green peppers are handling it better than the hots though.

Another tough year here because of incooperative weather conditions.

Glad yours looks good though.

jrd3820's picture

Thanks BigMike...Yeah, it's all about the weather

This is in MI. We are known for some brutally humid summers, and that has done quite a number on the gardens in the past. This year has not been bad with the humidity, but the reason we had to start so late; there was still frost on the ground into June....

Also we have had some crazy thunderstorms, and we have already gone through one round of drowned tomatoes.

Not too much with any bug problems this summer though....yet at least.

Your posts did inspire me to keep working this summer though. My friend's parents as I said are getting older and doing a lot less around the yard. Originally her Mom wanted one tiny little garden plot (probably just tomatoes) and a few flower plots. I convinced her if she helped minimally I would take care of all of it, and like I said; I was very much inspired to keep them going this summer by your posts.

Just exactly what the hell is that

flower on top? It looks like it's on fire. It's nice though, in fact I'll go so far as to say I like it.

What variety of tomatoes?

Are we not astilbe?


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

jrd3820's picture

Shhh...just testing something



May want Cyril to check this equation to make sure it's right.

(🐅 + ☁)+⛈+⏲= ✾ ❀

Eva Cassidy ~ Fields of Gold

I tried something that didn't work. Now I'm stuck with having to put *something* in this space. Didn't want to just write a "." and have you wondering if it was something cryptic. So... looking at Jen's lovely garden - oh, how odd! - I thought of a song! By the way, you asked me a question a while ago. I'll let you know the answer once I figure it out myself. :)


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

my math [I'm still deciphering yours]

Opera + Chrome = :(
FireFox + IE = :)

jrd3820's picture

hey thats great has!

It's beautiful!


I'm half blind to has math. Must.post.simple.universal...

, __ \/ __
/\^/`\ /o \{}/ o\ If I had a flower for each time
| \/ | \ () / I thought of you, my garden
| | | `> /\ <` ,,, would be full...
\ \ / @@@@ (o/\/\o) {{{}} _ _
'\\//' @@()@@ _ ) ( ~Y~ @@@@ _{ ' }_
|| @@@@ _(_)_ wWWWw .oOOo. @@()@@ { `.!.` }
|| ,/ (_)@(_) (___) OO()OO @@@@ _ ',_/Y\_,'
|| ,\ | /) (_)\ Y 'OOOO',,,(\|/ _(_)_ {_,_}
|\ || |\\|// vVVVv`|/@@@@ _ \/{{}}}\| (_)@(_) | ,,,
| | || | |;,,,(___) |@@()@@ _(_)_| ~Y~ wWWWw(_)\ (\| {{{}}
| | || / / {{}}} Y \| @@@@ (_)#(_) \| (___) | \| /~Y~
\ \||/ /\\|~Y~ \|/ | \ \/ /(_) |/ |/ Y \|/ |//\|/
\ `\\//`,.\|/|//.|/\\|/\\|,\|/ //\|/\|.\\\| // \|\\ |/,\|/

jrd3820's picture

You are so sweet....You're good @ what you do.

What do you do? You make me weak in my knees.


(stem for your blossom)


I forgot to hoe!

Someone called me on the phone

and distracted me long enough to screw up my equation, then I had to look up all those codes again.

(bull+shit)+rain+time=purty flowers 〠

jrd3820's picture

I wonder if ppl like Robot Jon & John Robb

just have all those codes memorized and are ready to use them at any given moment.

They are like mad code scientists or something.

The Robot is on the ball. 🏡

Joɥη is a complete hack.

jrd3820's picture

That would be a selosia

I know we have two different types of tomatoes going on this summer, one is called an Amish rose, we had good luck with those last summer. I can't remember the other kind we put in this summer. We did cherry tomatoes one summer, but not many grew, but those are my favorite to eat.

I've just about maybe 3 or 4 summers ago really gotten into the vegetables. I mean, I was always commissioned to help weed and whatnot but I'd get more excited about planting and caring for the flowers.

I'm just getting used to the other gardening.

That was awesome, thanks for sharing.

And I too liked the tire swing pic. I was looking in the background to see what kind of old tractors or equipment you use. Do you get to do the mowing too? When I was a kid I hated mowing. Now, every time I'm visiting my parents I mow the yard as much as I can. (Of course now it's a zero turn? riding mower, unlike the pushers we had as kids)

I'm doing aquaponics and plan on putting in my grow beds in Oct. or Nov.. Our growing season is opposite of yours, it was 113 degrees today, kind of hard to grow maters in that kind of heat. (But my fish are thriving)

Congratulations on your beautiful garden!!!

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

jrd3820's picture

Old equipment?

I'll get some good pics of all that for you in a few days. My friend's Dad actually collects antiques and is really into machinery. He has some cool tractors and a backhoe. I got the backhoe pretty stuck one time and he has been leary about me using it since lol. I don't use those, but I use most of the other equipment. I also shy away from the chin saws when it comes branch removal time, but I'll hand saw like crazy and I'll use the pull saw also. And yes, there is always mowing to be done. A lot of it I can do on the riding lawn mower, but some of it has to be pushed because of how the property is sectioned off. Her Dad is also really obsessive and kind of a perfectionist, so I take the string trimmers along the edges of the property about once a week.

Admittedly I don't know much about aquaponics or permaculture. Mdefarge and I were talking a few nights ago and she said she'd get me some links on permaculture, but I know there is a lot of info around here on that.

Yeah, I told krp down below. I used to dread lawn work. It was a high school summer type job for me, but I've grown to love it and volunteer for more projects every year.

I would love to see some pics of your fish and whatnot if ya think about it.

Hope you're having a nice summer Ira!

Wow, you're a regular farm-hand

I love old equipment too. My wife always complains about all of my oooooooollld stuff. I tell her it's cheaper, I can sometimes fix it, and it'll last longer than the new stuff (usually) and besides if I didn't like antiques, I would've never married her. (She doesn't think that's funny)

I'll post the fish farm stuff in the future. Right now I am moving my tanks and raising them with railroad ties, trying to get more gravity working for me. I now move all my water with pumps and it takes lots of time.

Going to do some chores now while it's cool out

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

Nice, jrd

It's great that you were able to learn things from a master gardener. That's an awful lot of garden to take care of. I don't know how you have the time, with all you do. Well, it all looks really nice. I want to draw that big tree with the tire-tube swing. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

jrd3820's picture

Thanks M

With all I do....lol; this is all I do. At least in the summer it seems like it. It feels good though. At the end of the day, I'm usually beat, but like I said; it feels worth it.

If you do draw the tree, I would love to see it.

Thanks for sharing,

as nothing brings you closer to Mother Earth than a garden. Mine was also started late, but I'm still enjoying it. Planting only one seed, with your hands in the dirt, puts you in touch with all of Creation. I say, good for you.

jrd3820's picture

You're welcome. I seem to just enjoy the work,

even if the outcome isn't always the best. It sounds like you do also. When I first started working around their property I was in high school and very much looked at it as work and kinda dreaded it. Over the years though I have come to love it. It is hard work, but it is fun, relaxing, and in the end there is a finished product. I don't look at it as a job anymore, just something I do every summer and something I kind of look forward to (unless it's over 80 degrees or something lol).

Good luck with yours. I plan on updating the pics here as things grow.