Gardening Tales

Garden Tips Segment Two

April 05, 2016
In between this and that falls gardening, if you were sitting beside me right now, you would 

hear me singing the word gardening, and maybe sing along too.

You see I have this theory, that if you are in need of a little joy, a little comfort, maybe even

a little work out of sorts, the garden is the place to find all three.

When my mind is in a whirl and my heart feels hurt, the garden is the place I want to be.


The garden~singing again...

It could be a patio garden, balcony, containers, raised beds whatever your heart desires.

Oh, also if you want to burn about 200-400 calories, and for me personally that would

be those four Dove chocolates I have after dinner every night, gardening takes care of that 

as well.

Well, today I am going to share the progress of the garden and some neat little tips too.

On February 22, I shared with you the beginning of our garden in 

Five Tips For Growing A Garden.

I guess that was about 6 weeks ago or thereabouts, well I am happy to report that it not 

only sprouted, it is growing and we are just about a week away from having some tasty 


I honestly feel a little giddy...smiles

Garden Tip #1

Double Digging The Vegetable Garden

Every serious gardener knows that the key to a great crop is good soil.

Being the daughter of farmers we talked about soil, light, water, fertilizer, and yield at every evening meal.

All of these elements combined make a huge difference in strong healthy plants.

The trouble is, good soil is something that one rarely finds, it is made.

With the first turn of soil with that shovel, a gardener usually finds exactly what lies 
beneath the surface.

In my region of Texas it unfortunately is clay. 
Clay is not good for growing plants or building a house on, you might remember my post on chemical/water injections in Building Our Home~Soil.

Double digging for our garden means that we removed the top soil layer with a shovel and placed it to the side of the rows exposing the subsoil beneath.

I say "we," but it really was my hubby...

We then added about 3 inches of organic matter to the top of the rows.

For the final step hubby shoveled the top soil that had been removed back into the rows and mixed with a spade into the organic matter.

Some of the top soil had large chunks of clay which we removed and hauled off in a wheelbarrow to the back of our property.

Garden Tip # 2

Pesky Pests

Sooner or later it is bound to happen, there will be pests in your garden and they will want to nibble on something that you sprouted from a seed or purchased from a nursery.

I think the best approach to this is to decide if you want to go natural/organic or conventional methods that usually involve chemicals.

As for us, we are trying to stay as natural as possible.
I used Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade on my garden yesterday.

I have been seeing ants, and aphids on my veggies and this is one way to control them.
I used the wet method and sprayed my garden.

A few other simple ideas to control pests are listed below.

Plant companion plants in your garden.

Aromatic plants such as basil, tansy, marigolds and sage will send a signal to bugs to go somewhere else.

Snails and slugs can be controlled by taking a container of salt and dousing them.

I have included a couple of websites below that you might just find interesting.

As well as this recipe for Homemade Garden Bug Spray from

~ 2 cups hot peppers, chopped
~1 tbsp cayenne pepper
~1 head of garlic
~3 tbsp dish soap
~4 gallons of water

You all might know fellow blogger Carole West from Garden Up Green, she is another great resource for your gardening questions.

Looking forward to seeing you back tomorrow on Wandering Wednesday and also where I will announce the Winner of Thoughts Of Home On Thursday #8 
It is a giveaway subscription to Southern Lady magazine.

Happy Gardening,


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  1. Great tips, Jemma! I need to prepare myself for when those pesky bugs appear. Saving this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh your post has me itching for spring and a chance to get my hands in the dirt!! Of course, we have to clear the snow away first. Boo. Snow! ;)

  3. Jemma,
    Your garden is looking great! Were you singing, "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow"?


  4. What a great garden you have going there, Jemma! It looks really big. I am the only one in the family that likes that little peppery bite.

  5. I would love to have a vegetable garden and make use of all these wonderful tips! Someday when I have a larger yard. Right now full sun is only in the very middle of my side yard!

  6. I am a firm believer in the garden, from the beginning of time, to the end of our time. But for all the in betweens, the garden has its way of teaching us to slow down, listen, to feel the earth. Oh sweet Jemma, are you OK? I know, we all have days when all we need is a touch from heaven. I pray your gardening days bring you closer to the love and light we believe in. GORGEOUS WORK, you've done! WOW!

  7. Oh, A REAL garden... I wish I had one that size! I have the terrible clay soil, too. It's a real annoyance. I'm so glad that you built up the soil and planted a row or two or three...;). Some days nothing feels as good as having your hands in the dirt.
    Snails and salt...I loved being assigned the job of the snail snuffer when I was little. haha I think I will bottle up some hot pepper spray for the little pests on my lemon leaves. Have a wonderful week and enjoy the sunshine! xoxo, T.

  8. Nothing like a garden! Looks like you are moving right along!

  9. Lots of really good tips there, Jemma - from a real gardener!

  10. Jemma, I totally agree with you about gardening as a place to make ones heart sing. I can get lost working in my garden. I admire you and your husband and your gardening efforts. That is one large garden plot. I'm not that kind of gardener. We don't have that kind of space, but how wonderful that you will have fresh veggies. Many here in town use the community gardens to grow their own veggies, but I admit that I'm not that engertic. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing the tips. Happy gardening!

  11. I have to agree with you also. I always feel so much better after being in the garden.
    I only have a few vegetables since there is only 1 here in my family. But I do have lots and lots of roses and plants. Stop and see my roses.

    Thanks for all the wonderful information. I am glad to say that I have exceptional soil as where I live it used to be a pomegranate farm. But I do add to it each year.
    So glad that your plants are growing so well.

    Have a terrific rest of the week.


  12. A bit envious here all that green sprouting through your soil looks wonderful. I'm still planting taking it slow this year. Planting and sheering season are always around the same time. So once the planting is done I can get those ladies sheered. Thanks for sharing my blog - that was super sweet. At some point we'll have to meet for lunch.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  13. Some good tips ... thank you.
    Did I spot a garden gnome in one of your photo's? A garden is not a garden without a gnome or a fairy! (Just ask my grand-daughter...)

    Enjoy your day.

    All the best Jan

  14. Hello Jemma, your garden looks beautiful. I can just imagine what your harvest will be like. Great tips, I like you are using natural items to get rid of the bugs. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  15. Great tips! My soil needs help, hoping to get a load of something soon to add to my boxes. I have another week left before the last frost, it frosted this morning. Your garden is very pretty and yes, a great place for therapy!!!

  16. You are so right about what a garden can do for you. I'm lucky with my soil it has a nice mix in it but when I have found an area that needed help I added organic matter like composted manure. Your garden is looking great and I can imagine your excitement. The only place I get good sun in my yard is the front yard and putting in a vegetable garden won't work there but I wish I had a spot for one.

  17. Jemma I am sorry I am late... Fever, aches and a nose running a marathon! I love gardening but I city garden on a postage stamp sized lawn. Yet it graces me in beauty and enjoyment in the nuturing of nature's gifts that bestow us with beauty. You my friend truly are a gardener and offer a wealth of knowledge and tips.
    Thank you for your tips and I'm going to mix up your all natural bug spray.

  18. Still admiring your garden from afar,,,,,seems as though spring has been put on hold here though we are warming up a bit! Great gardening tips Jemma, I confess that I do not have a very green thumb!

  19. I laughed at the comparison of my garden to yours. Compared to mine, yours is Texas sized and mine is Delaware!

  20. I always get giddy when I am in the garden. Veggies or flowers, it just makes me happy. You've done a fabulous job and your hard work is sure to pay off! Thanks for sharing your tips with SYC.


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