Monday, May 9, 2022

It's a New Garden!

We've had lots of gardens. When we first moved to NJ, we tried to keep up John's father's garden in PA, but it was pretty big and it took almost two full days each week to take care of it and all the produce. We were both working full-time and had young children so that only lasted a couple of years.

In 2012, John tilled a large portion of the backyard in NJ where we had had an above-ground pool, and we gardened there for six years. We successfully grew peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, peppers, cabbage, popcorn, and some interesting carrots.

The garden in NJ started looking pretty bad during the summer of 2018.

Most of our plants looked dried-up and desiccated, no matter how much we watered. After some soil testing, we found out that the soil was infected with verticillium and fusarium wilt. They are serious fungal diseases that affect many plants, trees, and shrubs, and there is no fungicide available to successfully treat the soil. This is kind of a forever disease, so we won't be able to plant in this location again.

But we bought the house in MD in 2018, and John broke ground for a new garden down there. We had quite a productive patch for four years.  

But with the MD house sold, and the NJ garden soil infected with fungal wilt, what's a gardener to do?

Dig up Ryan's backyard! We've been working on this for about six weeks, and we now have a fully tilled and fenced garden planted with peas, turnips, carrots, onions, and dill. I've started tomato, pepper, and cabbage seedlings that are coming along nicely. The soil temperatures are still a bit chilly, but I'll plant them in the garden in the next couple of weeks. 

Ryan isn't really a gardener, but he's helped a lot, and he may come to enjoy it more now that there is a garden in his backyard. I've planted a row of mint next to his shed, and he's been making sure that it has enough water, so he should be able to make mint tea soon. At the very least he's got less lawn to mow! 

I hope your garden is coming along, whether it's full of flowers, vegetables, or you just enjoy and admire growing things wherever they happen to be growing. 


  1. It's been too cold here to plant but warmer days are coming and I'm ready to get going with flowers!

  2. Perfect timing with Ryan moving back East and getting the house and providing you and John with new garden space!! You have been busy and that looks like a LARGE garden spot - very nice!!

  3. I am nodding with Carole's comment... yes, it has been far too cold. I am contemplating what containers I might use for a tomato plant or two! (but I love the garden start in Ryan's backyard!)

  4. now that is a solution and then Ryan will benefit from your laborings.

  5. You and John create GORGEOUS vegetable gardens, Bonny. I am really eager to watch "Ryan's" new vegetable plot grow and produce for you all! So nicely done. :-)

  6. How nice of Ryan to give up a portion of his yard so you can have a proper garden! Can't wait to see what you grow in this new spot -- though I'm not sure anything can top that carrot!

  7. It's finally warm enough to plant here. My garden is small and I just plant flowers, mesclun mixes, & herbs. I hope you have a wonderful year gardening at Ryan's place!

    1. I'm glad you can finally plant! We had a nice warm day here today, and I hope the warm weather sticks around for a while (without getting too hot). I might plant later this week, or wait until next week to be safe. Good luck with your garden this year!

  8. This looks like a perfect spot, and a really perfect enclosure! I am impressed. I bet Ryan will enjoy watching it grow and certainly eating produce from it. It's great that you have a new place to plant. That's a happy unintended consequence.

  9. Your gardens are beautiful. I have never heard of the fungal wilt you describe. Goodness. How nice of Ryan to give up some of his yard for a garden. I'm impressed by that gate. I've been tidying up the herb garden and perennial strip of flowers. The weather is warming up this week so I'm itching to get the tomatoes in the ground.

  10. I always love seeing your gardens and I'm glad you found a place for another one (so sorry about the NJ plot - ugh) ... it seems like a win-win for everyone to have less grass and lots of fresh produce!

  11. That is so great! (And I can't believe you had the MD house for 4 years!) And how great that you'll be seeing Ryan on a very regular basis!

  12. It hardly seems like you were in the MD house for four years!! May you have many successful years at Ryan's! ;)


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