Growing Challenge Check-In: Planting

My garden isn’t small but I didn’t have any room to plant corn. Our neighbor Jeff was kind enough to come by with his tractor and rototiller and make the above long strip of garden for me. It is between the pasture fence and the road. We had to put the fence far off the road to make room for snow in the winter but can still use the space all summer.

I planted 5 different kinds of corn the first day. I still had some room so in went 2 packets of sunflowers, hopefully to use in granola bars this fall. Well, there was still a ton of room left so I just kept planting. All the peas and beans went in. Then watermelon, zucchini, and squash. There is still room so I added eggplant seeds and may stick in some eggplant seedlings to fill it up. I’m trying to plant less valuable crops there since I wouldn’t put it past some idiot to drive through it or pick from it. The tomatoes and other crops will stay in the main garden. Plus, now there is room in the main garden for pumpkins!!

Here’s the complete running list, new additions in bold, the rest are updated.

Seedlings still under light (they really need to get outside but the weather is poor):
Amish Paste Tomatoes
Green Zebra Tomatoes
Waltham 29 Broccoli
Ping Tung Eggplant
Long Purple Eggplant

In the main garden:
Red pioneer potatoes- 10# – growing well, need straw
Red onions – 8-10″ tall
Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas (hybrid) – 1 20′ row – 8″ tall
Asparagus – mostly gone to seed, some still coming up
Black seeded simpson lettuce – 1 20′ row – up
Black seeded simpson lettuce – 1 20′ row planted 4/27 – up
Sugar Ann snap pea – 1 20′ row planted 4/27 – 4″ tall
Victoria Rhubarb – approx. 25 seeds planted 4/27 – didn’t come up, disappeared!
Amish Paste Tomato seedlings – 10 planted out 5/25 – 2 died, others holding on

In the long garden:
Country Gentleman sweet corn – 1 packet – planted 5/25
Golden Bantam 8-Row sweet corn – 1 pkt. – planted 5/25
Carousel mini ornamental corn – 1 pkt. – planted 5/25
Strawberry popcorn – 1 pkt. – planted 5/25
Japanese White Hull-less popcorn – 1 pkt. – planted 5/25
Mammoth Grey sunflowers – 1 pkt. – planted 5/30
Buff Valentine (Contender) bush bean – 3 pkts. – planted 5/31
Sugar Ann snap peas – remainder of 1 pkt. – 5/31
Laxton’s Progress 9 garden pea – 3 pkts. – 5/31
Tall Telephone garden pea – 1 pkt. – 5/31
Blacktail Mountain watermelon – 1 pkt. = 5 hills – 5/31
Butternut Roosa squash – partial pkt. = 2 hills – 5/31
Black Beauty zucchini – partial pkt. = 2 hills – 5/31
Ping Tung eggplant – partial pkt. = 2 hlls – 5/31

Around the farm:
Heritage Raspberry – 4 canes planted 4/26 – doing great
Strawberries – a few blossoms, only half dozen plants survived winter without mulch
Gooseberry and Currants – 2 of each – planted last year – huge w/ small berries forming!
2 Red Haven Peach trees – planted – all fruit trees are healthy and green
1 Harrow pear tree – planted last year – only tree with blossoms
1 Bartlett pear tree – planted
1 Montmorency Cherry tree – planted
1 Gala apple tree – planted
1 Golden Delicious apple tree – planted
4 blueberry bushes – planted last year – greening up
Mature apple trees – small apples forming!

Here’s a pic I snapped from where I sat planting the endless patch.

Also, this is the broken hoe that I’ve repurposed to help me plant. It makes a great little tool to cut rows in the soil. Then I just drop the seeds in and pat over them with my hand.

I’ve enjoy reading many of your garden updates and how everyone’s plant are flourishing. What’s your favorite garden tool? How do you plant your seeds?


6 thoughts on “Growing Challenge Check-In: Planting

  1. Farmer's Daughter

    I'd have to say my favorite garden tool is my hands. I get down in the dirt and become a messy mess. I plant seeds, weed, pick off bugs, harvest, do everything and anything with my hands.

  2. Julie

    I have to agree with Farmer’s Daughter on this one. I like to use my hands for most things in my (small) garden! In early spring I use a shovel to loosen the dirt, but I mostly just use my hands or a small hand shovel after that. And to plant: picture Twister-like positions as I balance on my stepping stones and lean over to plant my little veggie patches trying to make the most of what little space I have! =D

  3. angie

    Hi Jena,

    This is one awesome looking garden row. I’m envious.

    My favorite tool is the hula hoe that my husband hand made for me for my 40th birthday with a white oak sapling handle from our land, engraved our farm name and scratched on it a silhouette of our dog (who we had to put to sleep two years ago) so that she can still be in the garden with me. That is my favorite tool.

    Here are my others: garden fork, cobrahead weeders, and a really nifty japanese hoe (

  4. Farmer's Daughter

    Angie- I think this is the only garden tool that ever brought tears to my eyes 🙂

    My hands are my favorite kitchen tool, too.

  5. Jena

    FD & Julie – I totally agree, using your hands is the best way to go. Someday I'll start giving myself french manicures to hide all the dirt under my nails.

    Julie – Lol, I can see it now – Twister: Gardeners' Edition. Maybe trying to avoid soil compaction is nature's way of getting us to stretch. I know it sure makes my muscles hurt the next day.

    Angie – I'm glad you like my new garden, I would have happily shared it when I was planting the whole darn thing! 🙂 I still haven't got it full and I'm almost out of things to plant.

    That hoe is an amazing gift, it sounds like your husband must be equally amazing to think up and create such a gift. What a great way to keep that memory with you.

  6. risa

    My garden tool these days are my kneeling bench and a right-angled trowel (insert in bench vise and PULL — voila — new improved tool). The bench has its own carpenter's apron with string, scissors, knife, packets of seeds. Our soil is a kind of undrainable muck that turns to iron when the sun comes out, so we farm on top of it in permanent hay-straw mulch — can't make rows.

    Amish Paste was a bust for us this year and we have heard that from others, too. But you can come dig up up some of our rhubarb whenever you like (if you happen to be in Oregon at the time) 😉


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