How Does the Garden Grow?

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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I expect most of you have much planted in your gardens by now.  I’m still in the process of planting.  I have my tomatoes and green peppers planted and one patch of sweet corn planted.  The weather here has still been in a rain cycle.  May brought us 17 days of rain.  Fortunately it wasn’t deluge down pours but gentle rain.  It made for difficult times to find the soil dry enough to work and plant.  The Urban Ranch (my back yard) garden beds are fully planted and the radishes, lettuce, bush beans, cabbage, and broccoli are looking fairly good but the cool temperatures are impeding the growth curve.  The predicted low for tonight is 48 with 70 degrees and cloudy tomorrow.  We’re not seeing much sun even on the days of no rain.  It’s a very unusual year that’s for sure.

The long awaited Rugosa Rose bushes arrived last week.  My grandson was so excited about receiving a package in the mail.  Many times his Granny from Texas will send him packages so his first thought was that the package was for him.  I explained that it was Rose bushes that I had ordered for Terra Nova Gardens.  We commenced to open the package and when the bushes were removed, you could see the bewilderment on my grandson’s face.  He said, “Grandpa, you bought a bunch of sticks?”  He make be belly laugh.

This order of bushes started way last year.  After not receiving my bushes by the middle of June, contact was made with the company.  They informed me that the time for shipment of such things was past and returned my money.  This year I ordered the bushes in February and sent them a reminder note every month until the middle of May at which time they sent the order.  I guess the squeaky wheel really does get the grease.   The order was for 21 bushes and they actually sent 27.  After a few hours of soaking in the blue barrel you see in the picture, the bushes were mucked into semi dry soil with a dowsing of root stimulator.  I haven’t been back to Terra Nova Gardens for a few days due to rain and a croupy cough (bronchitis) so I hope they are doing OK.  I’m now on antibiotics and cough medicine which seem to be breaking it up.

Here you can see the artist (pun intended) at work. The rainy days are perfect for working on my fence panel letter stencils.  I’ve found the best way to be consistent in the lettering of the fence panels is to make stencils to trace.  The one that is being worked on here is the letter “N” for the word Garden.  It’s the last letter needed to finish the panel with the word “Garden” on it.  Only one more painted panel after the “Garden” panel and this side of the fence will be completed.  On the last painted panel, the plans are to just have flowers along the bottom and a sun up in the corner.  One of my penpals (yes, I still write and send letters) suggested this last panel should have butter flies on it.  I thought that was a great idea and I’m researching just how to do that.   The other two sides will be unpainted panels so they should go up faster.  I’m trying to get the area fenced in before the sweet corn matures or else the night shade critters will strip it clean again this year.

Bradley, my grandson, left to see his Dad in Texas last Friday (June 1st).  He won’t be back until the middle of July.  I suspect the first two weeks will be wonderful having total freedom back but then I’ll kind miss the little fella.  Since he’s only eight years old, he has to have a destination flight that doesn’t require him to change planes.  Since my somewhat in-law family doesn’t make plans until a couple days before an event like flying Bradley to Texas, all the flights from my city were booked full.  The closest flight was from Kansas City about 2 1/2 hours away.  Oh, yeah, and the fight left at 7:30am.  So before the crack of dawn (3am) we (grandson and I) were on the road to K.C.  With flashing lighting in the horizon, we sped down I-29 toward our destination hoping for no hail or worse the dreaded tornado.  We arrived, parked in the covered garage, and made our way into the terminal just before the rain started.  The storm didn’t delay his flight.  A final hug goodbye and off he went down the tunnel toward the airplane without even a glance back.  What a kid.  He’s very secure in who he is and fearless about where he’s going.  I guess maybe he’s picking up on Grandpa’s philosophy.  (Everything is an adventure that makes for good stories to tell later.)

This determined looking guy was a contestant for the fencing episode on Tough GRIT. Oh, yeah, it’s me, Nebraska Dave. You can see the entire episode by going to and watching the episode called “Suits you to a T” episode 24.  It’s about the third episode back from the current one.  When you go to the Tough GRIT website use the double arrows to move to the different episodes.  If some of the small pictures just have a small x up in the corner, just click on the window and the episode will come up. Information on the right will tell you about that episode or just look for a guy with a pneumatic post driver in his hands in the video window.  It was indeed a great time being with the GRIT editors and the film crew for the day.  I encourage everyone to seriously think about signing up for a Tough GRIT challenge.  What a fun day.  After being a TV star now I’m back to just being grandpa and Dad.  I like that just fine.

I hope that all your gardening is coming together for you and only fair winds and gentle rains are in your future.  That’s all I have for this time.  Catch up with you next time. 

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