How Josie helped save my garden

Years ago, I decided to try my hand at gardening. I picked a spot in the yard where grass wouldn’t grow, but got plenty of sun.


The first year, I had a decent crop of zucchini. I learned cucumbers like to climb, tomatoes get bottom rot and can come out mealy, and peppers take a really long time to ripen and then taste like cardboard. I also learned cut grass is awesome as mulch.

IMG_4550As years went on, the garden grew, even though the core crops were zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. And one year basil was amazing. Everything else was a hit or miss.

148725_10150818313422063_943034984_nA friend then talked me into upgrading my garden – build boxes and use an awesome mix for the soil. I researched what to build the boxes from. I knew cedar was ideal and pressure treated should be avoided unless lined with plastic. I settled on plain on 2x8s – knowing full well they’d rot in no time. It was great – for the first few months. But I went too big – too many boxes, too much in the garden and no time to tend to it. I had an entire box of bush beans that I never once harvested because I didn’t have time.

And then I stopped trying. I let the weeds take over.IMG_1753

So what does this post have to do with Josie? Well, because of her, I’m tackling the garden this year – and starting small: zucchini, cucumber, basil and tomatoes.

See, when I was researching building the best method for the boxes, I came across a blog about using cedar fence pickets. It was inexpensive and a fantastic idea. One problem – I couldn’t find any locally. Every year, I’d check my local HD and Lowe’s and nothing.

This year, that changed. My local stores still didn’t have any, but the oncologist Josie sees is right down the street from HD – and guess what they have in stock. Cedar fence pickets. During one of my many trips to Richmond, I stopped by and picked up 30 pickets. I spent one weekend and built two boxes – one for cucumbers, the other for zucchini. I still need to build one for the tomatoes.


The dogs supervised construction.


I also decided to move the garden – hopefully the plants will get more sun in the new location.


That left tackling the overgrown garden boxes and moving the awesome soil I put in them. Its slow going, but I’m making a dent in it. Best part – I now have a small garden growing again.


All thanks to Josie.

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3 Responses to How Josie helped save my garden

  1. lkimberland says:

    I am trying raised bed gardening for the first time this year, actually gardening at all for the first time. I too have planted tomato, cucumber, peppers and squash. Hopefully I can benefit from your insights.Maybe we’ll both have a bumper crop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Admiral says:

      I have found cucumber (just give them something to climb) and squash are super easy and you get a lot more than you need. For squash, particularly zucchini, I let them grow really big and use them for stuffed zucchini – very delicious. But they also taste really good if you pick them when they are small. Peppers – good luck – mine always taste like cardboard – I have no idea why. And tomatoes – I’m trying again – mixing it up a bit with yellow pear, roma and regular tomatoes. Hopefully they come out good. Best crop of tomatoes I ever had were cherry tomatoes that I literally stuck in a pot and didn’t think about – so maybe I’m over thinking my gardening.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How Josie helped save my garden | Happy Wiggle Butt | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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