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Many years ago, when my mom was teaching me about gardening, we had a neighbor. Every year, our neighbor would till/break up the land, put some tomato plants in, and then completely ignore them for the rest of the spring/summer. By August, they might have had 4 tomatoes on a plant, but they never ever tended their garden.
You have to be willing to tend your garden. You have to be willing to water it when mother nature doesn't supply. Tending a garden doesn't mean spending countless hours outside in the garden, although in critical times that could happen. Tending a garden means paying attention.
Paying attention means watching the weather. If you aren't getting a lot of rain, then supplement it. If your area doesn't have a lot of nutrients in the ground, then supplement them. Pay attention, tend your garden.
Some days I spent as little as 5 or 10 minutes in our garden, but our neighbors wouldn't even look at what they had planted. We had so many tomatoes that we were giving them away, whereas our neighbors had nothing. We shared with our friends and family.
The first year my mom taught me to garden, we had really high temperatures, and a drought, so I came up with a routine that I will share with you, for watering your garden.
Get a bucket, and know how many gallons the bucket holds. Then turn your garden hose on, and put it into your bucket. Count how many seconds it takes to fill your bucket from your garden hose. Thousand one, thousand two, etc., then you will know how many seconds it takes to get how many gallons of water on a plant.
For instance, if it takes 20 seconds to fill a 2 gallon bucket, then you know if you hold your garden hose on a plant for twenty seconds, you will have given that plant 2 gallons of water. If it takes 20 seconds to fill a 2 gallon bucket, and you put the garden hose on a plant for 10 seconds, you will have given that plant one gallon of water.
That first year my mom taught me, I was plenty scared, I went to our local government library and read stuff, I got info from my mom's girlfriend, and that is where I came up with the system of run your water into the bucket, and say "one mississippi, two mississippi," etc., that way you know how many gallons of water you have on each plant.
I thank God that my mom and her girlfriend taught me about gardening some 20 or so years ago, with all of the problems going on.
I'm no master gardener, but I can grow veggies, and that is thriftyfun!
Thank you for this good advice about gardening. It sounds simple but it is so easy to overlook.
Better go pull some weeds now :)
Here's the best advice on how to tend your garden:
First, you come to the garden alone,while the dew is still on the roses...
For the garden of your daily living,
Plant three rows of peas:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
Plant four rows of squash:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness
Plant four rows of lettuce:
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
No garden is complete without turnips:
1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another
To conclude our garden we must have thyme:
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends
Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.
There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.