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How Good Is Your Soil???

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is it “good enough” to produce healthy vegetables (results)? Do you tend to it on a daily basis by hoeing, removing weeds and rocks, watering, adding organic nutrients and/or soil compost free of chemicals?

My love of gardening began with soil that was “untouched” for many years. Except for weeds and clumps of hay-like grass, nothing of value grew there. I made a conscious decision to give that soil new life and start a new hobby by growing a few vegetables and herbs. Making that decision was my first step. Because I wanted to be successful at gardening, I made a list of goals that needed to be accomplished before I could plant my first seed. Getting tools and fencing ready, tilling the soil, removing rocks and weeds, and adding organic nutrients to the soil were items on that list. And it was all hard work. I then drew a diagram that would depict how I wanted my garden to look, where to plant the tomatoes, zucchini and a variety of herbs, along with marigolds. The diagram remained in view as a daily reminder of what the garden should/would look like.

Every day, I spent time nurturing that soil. Some days, I tracked 10 minutes of “gardening” which was soon increased to 60 or more minutes daily. When you find something you really enjoy doing, time passes by quickly and “work” becomes fun. I looked forward to tending the garden every day.

Some of my previous blogs contained pictures of my “work in progress”. The following pictures depict successful goals completed. At the end of the season, I will continue to keep the soil nurtured so the end result of a fruitful harvest will take place year after year.

Yes, there is a subliminal message here. How good is your soil????

Zucchini in Bloom

Zucchini and Marigolds

Grape Tomatoes - early stage

More Grape Tomatoes

Red Grape Tomatoes – ready for picking!)

More Red Grape Tomatoes

Yellow-Pear Tomatoes, Red Grape Tomatoes with Zucchini

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

5-Ingredient Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Boats- cheddar, turkey, beans, tomatoes

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon Analogy
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    673 days ago
  • JIMA64
    Enjoyed reading of your success. I too started gardening in my parents former garden area. Looking forward to spring.
    838 days ago
    emoticon blog!
    maybe next season i will plant something!
    847 days ago
    Very nice thanks. emoticon
    874 days ago
    I never thought to ad cheese etc to Zucchini. Thanks!
    877 days ago
    I really enjoyed your garden blog. I live in South Florida, and the sandy soil in my yard is not conducive to growing a lot of vegetables without help. The insects are also horrible, which is why I usually garden in containers. My boyfriend insisted on having an in-ground garden, so I told him to go ahead. Over the summer we have been growing peppers since it's too hot for just about anything else. We add bone meal and epsom salt for the soil and make our own bug spray. We also planted lemongrass and marigolds around the garden, and that seems to help a bit with the bugs. I am looking forward to cooler weather where we can start planting things like tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and we'll see what else. I enjoy it too, and recently bought some green tea plants. We also have almond and cashew trees that will be going in the ground soon, too.
    877 days ago
    emoticon You've done a fantastic job! P.S. Yes, I got your message. emoticon
    879 days ago
  • LINDA!
    emoticon Great blog!
    880 days ago
    The vegetables are beautiful and the zucchini bread looks yummy, also. I too like working in the yard. I live in the South where we mostly have red clay, so it's definitely a challenge to grow things. One of my co-workers got me interested in gardening, so I've been at it about 3 years now. I have 2 raised bed boxes so I planted strawberries and kale the 1st year, which produced pretty good. I also bought some blueberry bushes that have done pretty well. This year I didn't try to plant anything in the raised beds because of the weeds growing so fast. so I've been container gardening this year. I've been growing sweet potatoes, arugula and lettuce, but trying to grow those things has been a challenge because of the bugs eating the leaves. Ugghh, they have really been eating everything even my flowers. Well, fall is here and maybe I'll try to grow some greens since it's still warm. Love your blog, keep up the good work. And, yes my soil is good.
    880 days ago
    loved your blog congratulations on being spark mail must cultivate both mygarden & my body
    881 days ago
    I love to try gardening. Don't know how to prepare the ground before planting. Very interesting. Great job!!
    881 days ago
    Your subliminal message is wonderful. I too garden. emoticon
    882 days ago
    Love love love this!
    882 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! Beautiful pics and great harvest!!
    883 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Good for you! Your garden produce looks so delicious!! Way to go on cultivating that beautiful garden and congrats on being the community highlight this week!
    883 days ago
    emoticon on all your hard work. It does pay off.

    883 days ago
    884 days ago
    Everything looks delicious! Good for you for growing your own food! Fresh, Fresh, Fresh! emoticon
    884 days ago
    Really appreciate your blog...especially your question about our soil...the soil of our hearts, too! emoticon
    884 days ago
    Good blog!

    Great photos too - your garden produce and what you've made with it all looks delicious.
    884 days ago
    Thanks for sharing, I love gardening too...and yes, it is great exercise! emoticon
    884 days ago
    Great looking garden! Your gardening skills are awesome... emoticon emoticon
    884 days ago
    My soil is better than it was a few years ago but it is still a work in progress. your garden loves lovely .
    884 days ago
    How beautiful! My garden started out with native soil and no nutrients. Then it had to be fenced to keep out the rabbits and deer. Then it was moved to raised beds in a fenced area of the property. Then I built up soil again. The message is - keep at it and you will reach your goal. This year after surmounting extremely high winds in the spring, drought in the summer, an abundance of rain in late August/early Sept, an early freeze one night when I was gone, and then temperatures soaring into the 80s I am harvesting beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes. I am working on harvesting myself.
    884 days ago
    LOVED this!!!!

    884 days ago
  • SKELLEY3440
    Definitely liked this. I saw the subliminal message immediately and love it. emoticon I will definitely think and grow on this myself. Thanks!!
    884 days ago

    i love fresh fruits and veggies but a gardener I am not. I do take advantage of local Farmer's Markets
    884 days ago
    I do not usually read blogs. However, your title caught my eye. I too hard your soil at one time. I had an oasis for a back yard. Then my husband was hurt in a car accident. I took care of him for 3 years before he passed away. My garden was left. The only thing that mattered was my husband. He passed away two years ago. The garden is still neglected. My daughter has tried to do something, but she has never liked it.

    Your blog reminded me how much I enjoyed that garden and how much work my husband and I put into it. It took almost 10 years to work each section, fix the soil, build arbors, a pond, a patio, a fire pit to smoke food etc.

    I cried when I read your blog and am crying now. The memories you brought back and the hope as well. It all starts and ends with the soil.

    Thank you!
    884 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    Week of 09/25/2014 - Featured Blog Post

    How Good Is Your Soil?
    Great to see your blog in the Spark Mail.
    884 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Beautiful Photos. Awesome Crop. Keep It Going. Thank You for sharing. God Blessings Always. Have a Nice Day. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Take Care.
    884 days ago
    Nice post. I love how gardening is such a great metaphor for life as well as the actual gardening. I love the outline so to speak:
    Conscious decision, list of goals, tools, time and hard work which becomes more and more fun.
    emoticon Success is also having a lot of fun with the work you do.
    Thanks for sharing and happy gardening.
    With Love. Z :)
    884 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.
    885 days ago
    Yum! I'm always sorry to see the garden end and the time coming to put it to bed. My yellow grape tomatoes were scrumptious. My granddaughter who is five stood, picked and ate every one she could reach. She's always loved tomatoes. They were just that good! There's nothing like a home grown tomato!!!
    885 days ago
    Great Job! Your vegetables are beautiful and look delicious!
    885 days ago
    I admire people who garden, but somehow I did not get the horticultural gene possessed by everyone else in my family. If I work on plants, I get rashes.

    So I shall continue to work my health garden, preparing my body to show the fruit of my labor.
    885 days ago
    Great blog. I am turning over the remainder of my plants. No longer producing. I will et it set for a few weeks and turn again. I only have a small plot but will rotate my . crops next year as I know that is important to keep the soil predicting. I am also covering with pine straw which will be turned into the soil prior to planting
    885 days ago
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    885 days ago
    All that looks very delicious!
    Don't forget to rotate the places for your veggis every year, because different plants use different soil ingredients. Planting the same thing in the same spot may actually poison the area, while some nutrients are depleted, others accumulate too much.
    How good is my soil? when I started my new garden 2 years ago (raised beds) I literally started with an empty bed (over untouched soil). Compost is expensive, so I opted for 1/2 the height with mulch, which degraded to rich soil over time, topped it with good topsoil/compost mix.
    This year I had plenty of grapes, some tomatoes (it was too hot this summer), Fennel, green beans (still have some in my freezer) and still enjoying red and yellow bell peppers.
    Just finished adding 6 cuyrd compost to compensate for the degrading deficit, everything is getting ready for fall, when it's time to start next year's crop seeds (no frost in SoCal). Looking forward to blue potatoes and Fennel bulbs next year, maybe even blackberries.
    Keep on gardening, my friend! emoticon emoticon
    885 days ago
    Wonderful Blog!!!!!
    885 days ago
    Awesome blog and pictures and congratulations on your blog being the feature of the day!!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    885 days ago
    Love your garden and it's fruit. I love my garden too, and it has come a long way over the years. As many rocks as I've pulled from the soil, there are always more!
    885 days ago
  • JAMER123
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    885 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon Love the garden pics. A nice bountiful harvest after all your hard work. Happy healthy eats!
    885 days ago
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    885 days ago
    Everything looks amazing. You are doing an awesome job. Keep it up and thanks for sharing. emoticon
    885 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    emoticon wonderful garden!
    885 days ago
  • CAROLJ35
    Loved the colorful photos as well as your insightful words!
    885 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    Loved the blog

    emoticon emoticon
    885 days ago
    885 days ago
    emoticon everything looks so delicious! I love fresh from the garden veggies. That's what I grew up on. I sure do miss my dad's garden.
    885 days ago
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