Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Planting time at Terra Nova Gardens and at the Urban Ranch.

A photo of Nebraska DaveThere's lots of garden activity going on in the neighborhood.  Plants are leaving the nurseries in droves. I have just planted the tomatoes and bell peppers at Terra Nova Gardens. Next week the cucumbers, zucchini and corn will be planted.  My neighbor across the street from where I live at the Urban Ranch asked for some space at Terra Nova Gardens for watermelons and pumpkins.  He now has three hills of watermelons and three hills of pumpkins planted.  The rest of the open garden will be planted in sweet corn and five rows of companion planting called three sisters.  I expect most of you know what that is but for those that don't it's a combination of corn, pole beans, and vined squash planted in the same area.  The pole beans will climb up the corn and the squash will cover the ground to keep down the weeds and deter the raccoon.  The raccoons don't like stepping on the squash vines.  So I've read.  So we will see.
Terra Nova Garden beds

Here's the almost finished beds. Two more bales of straw covered the rest of the area. Once again this is not what the garden looks like. By the time I get to blog a couple days have gone by and things look much different. I guess that I really should take more pictures during the work days.
Garden plan for 2012

Here's the plan for this year. The grand plan has changed so many times that I couldn't tell you what issue this is. The overall plan has changed as well. I've decided to have half the garden be an open garden without a fence. Raised garden beds are great but just not for vined plants like acorn squash, watermelons, pumpkins, or sweet corn. There's a need for both. So half will be fenced and half will be open. Do turkeys like pumpkins or watermelons? I guess I'll find out.

Mean while back at the Urban Ranch, the backyard gardens have been severely neglected this year. Time in the backyard will be a must next week. The main rain water storage tank is full and I will ask my friend who has a source for unlimited plastic 55 gallon drums to snag me a couple more. I would like to continue to store up water for the backyard gardens as much as I can. Before the last rain I integrated one 55 gallon drum but it's overflowing and I had to close off the fill line for now. The dribble in the main water storage tank has all but stopped. The water loss has gone from 18 gallons a day to practically negligible. I'm not sure why but I'll except it and move on.
Water fountain in water storage tank

I have installed a water fountain in the main water storage tank. I don't want the water to become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Before too long I plan to have fish caught from the local ponds in the tank as well so a little aeration is also needed. The cover for the tank used to be part of another project from 10 years ago and has been recycled as a tank cover to keep curious neighborhood from falling in the tank and to help to prevent algae growth. This project has come a long way since that first anchor concrete block was laid for the foundation. This is third year for working on the project. Last year only a few tweaks in the watering system were needed. This year I expect it to function as well as last year. So many projects and never enough time.

That's it for this week but there's another week coming with new and exciting adventures. I better rest up today so I can get started bright and early tomorrow. I'm glad you could sit a spell and read about the antics of old Dave and his gardening experiences. Until the next time keep those garden tools sharp and working. One hour a day in the garden is better than two at the fitness center.  

s.m.r. saia
5/30/2012 5:23:58 PM

Well, I know that for me, planting fall seeds for a spring harvest would be an issue of whether or not I could handle the delayed gratification! It might drive me crazy, wondering if they would come up, poking new seeds in the ground in the spring just in case they didn't, ha ha!!! I did plant garlic one October a few years back and that came up great in the spring. I'm definitely going to keep that idea on the back burner. Thanks!!!!!


nebraska dave
5/30/2012 12:28:29 PM

Mary, this plan is probably revision number 10. Ha, I had to laugh at your sticking to the plan comment. When I'm actually working in the garden many changes happen which then are revised on the plan when I return home. So the plan is more of a reflection of what I decided to do at the garden during the work time. Have a great day working in the garden.


nebraska dave
5/30/2012 12:25:03 PM

S.M.R., If you do try the fall seed planting method, let me know how it works for you. The one time I tried it, it worked great. I'm not sure why I never tried it again. Some how the garden plans always look easier on paper that when actually digging in the dirt. It's been a fun time working to see everything get accomplished. Have a great day in the garden.


s.m.r. saia
5/30/2012 12:04:46 PM

Wow, Dave, what an awesome garden plan! And I was really interested by your comment on my blog about planting the seeds in the fall for spring crops....I'm going to keep that in mind. Have a great garden day!


mary pellerito
5/28/2012 1:03:12 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing your plan come to life. I'm not disciplined enough to stick to a plan and I am in awe of those that do.


nebraska dave
5/19/2012 9:50:31 PM

Thanks Allan, it has been a lot of work but I really enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great day in the the garden.


allan douglas
5/19/2012 3:21:05 PM

Lots of work! Looks like you're making great strides though! Three thumbs up (yeah, i borrowed one)


nebraska dave
5/12/2012 1:30:45 AM

Charles, the scratchers have already been poking around in the watermelon and pumpkin mounds. I suspect four out of the six mounds will have to be replanted. This time I will have chicken wire flat on the ground over the mounds. That way when they start scratching their claws will get caught in the wire. The wire will be pinned to the ground with the big landscaping staples. And so the battle of wills begin. Turkeys 1 Old Dave the Gardener 0. :0) Have a great day in Chicago.


charles mallory
5/11/2012 1:32:45 PM

I'm impressed by both your water conservation and your garden planning! Sounds like you do indeed have quite a plate full of work--but that'll translate into many plates full of food. From what people tell me, it seems like no animals really bother pumpkins or watermelons. You just have to watch out for snatchers!