how does your garden grow

Phew. I’ve gotten painfully behind in all three of my jobs this week, & I’m trying to set myself right this week. It took all morning, but food is prepped. Veggies were cleaned. A miniature compost bin was filled. Loads of dishes were done. Laundry is in. Beer was consumed. Things were dusted. Bunnies got clean cages. Bread was made…

A work friend decided they no longer needed their bread maker & kindly gave it to me. It took me months to get going, but this is the second week using it. So. simple. Pour in ingredients. Push buttons. Wait. Eat bread. This is the video I’ve used, because it gives a good ingredient list (the right size for my machine) & is hilarious. I mean, this can’t be his real voice, right? I love this video:

We’re being rather productive this weekend, even in our garden (which, I swear, I will someday have pictures of). I’ve been working at our farmers’ market on Saturdays, & yesterday I was working that week’s big event, a gardening expo. One of the booths was handing out free gallons of compost tea. Heck yes!

Making compost tea can be a pretty intense operation, so I was excited to get this nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer for free. The gallon, mixed with 5 gallons of water, provided the perfect amount of fertilizer for a garden our size. The tea was a mix of organic, mature compost plus fish emulsion & molasses. It smelled like death, but it’s liquid gold. That is, if gold could work as a natural fungicide & perk up pretty much any sad-sack of a plant. If compost is the daily vitamin of a garden, providing essential nutrients to long-term health, then this tea is that gross nasal spray–straight to the target area & quickly sucked into the roots of the plant, pumping goodness through its system in no time.

If you want to perk up & protect your garden with this natural blend, contact your local nurseries or go-to seed shops. They’ll have it on hand or be able to direct you to the proper source. This is a great first step before resorting to tearing out the plant or putting chemicals on top. Remember, you’re eating this stuff! Don’t pour anything on there that could hurt you when harvest comes.

My mom gave me another great, natural spray. Initially, it was suggested for my dying (now deceased) roses. (The poor thing ended up loaded with aphids, which have now spread to my peas. Luckily, they’re done for the season anyway.) For longer than the span of my memory, my mom has had a climbing rose bush nestled in a corner flower bed, right outside her bedroom window. In summer with the window open, the deep red flowers’ scent pours into the room.

My mom can grow beautiful, wild, bursting roses. Her last-ditch effort to save mine, which she believed may have had a mildew problem, was this: 1 t. baking soda + 1/4 t. dish soap + 1 qt. water.  Mix. Put in a spray bottle. Spray liberally. Now that the peas & roses are done for, I’m going to try this spray on a yellow-looking tomato plant that we think is having some troubles.

Hopefully, in a few months we’ll all have a bountiful, healthy harvest.


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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