I grew up on a farm in the New Hope community. David and I still live on the northwest corner of that property and raised our two children, Penny and Josh, there.
Mama was a homemaker, stay-at-home mom — very common in the 1950s. Raising five children, one of whom was special needs, was most definitely a full-time job.
Daddy was one of the first hires at American Bosch. He got home about 4 p.m. Supper was on the table. We ate together, shared about our day and Daddy always brought the afternoon projects into the conversation.
This time of the year meant we were heading outside to the vegetable garden. The day when Daddy would harness Ole Bob, the horse was my favorite. We would ride bareback from the barn to the garden spot! I can still smell the fresh plowed soil as Daddy turned the dirt. Over the next week or so, the garden spot was plowed again, the rows laid off, potato eyes were cut off and dropped in the prepared soil. The half-moon hoes had been sharpened and hung on the garden fence. (And you had better return the hoe or rake to the exact same place!)
As our family grew, so did the garden spot. The purchase of a Super C International 2 row tractor made the work go a bit faster. We ate well, canned and froze enough for the winter days ahead.
Today’s gardener has numerous resources available to them. Plan before you visit the local nursery or our master gardener plant sale. How much space do you have? How long until maturity? What veggies does your family eat?
For a limited space garden, plant smaller vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, egg plants produce over a prolonged period and can be harvested continuously.
Bush beans, either green snap beans or lima beans are easy to grow and produce well. Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, mustard, turnip greens and green onions can be planted until mid April. Sweet corn takes up lots of room in a small garden, but nothing can compare to the sweetness of fresh corn. Okra grows well in our area. Okra can be harvested continuously until a heavy frost next fall. Watermelons, cucumbers and pumpkins are vining plants and take up lots of precious space. Cucumbers can be trellised if you have limited space. Research and think before you plant.
You only have a small patio spot. Today you can find many container plants. They will be ridiculously small and produce abundantly. You can pull up a chair and tend to the plants.
Pay attention to the varieties that are labeled for disease resistance, higher yields, and great flavor. Note in your gardening journal what you liked and what you did not.
The Lowndes County Master Gardeners hope you will visit us at our annual plant sale. It is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon April 23 at Brickerton Plaza. We will have annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, flowers and some garden collectables. Also, if you have any plastic pots or trays, in good condition, please bring them for us to recycle for future community projects.
Former elementary teacher and avid gardener Olivia Sansing lives in the New Hope community and shares timely tips on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.
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