You wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
The Yager Homestead is in this stage with our garden right now. And let me tell you, it’s the least fun. But it’s a necessity, so we do what we have to do. So we have had a month of waiting.
We started our seedlings inside back in the beginning of March, and transplanted them around Spring Break. After transplanting, we decided to grow potatoes too. On Guru Penny’s advice, we waited until a few store-bought potatoes had eyes. We cut the potatoes up to where each chunk had an eye on it. Then we let them dry for a couple of days. After that, we planted the chunks directly into the soil, with the eyes sticking up.
Patience is a virtue…that I lack. But this time, I was rewarded!
On March 27, we noticed the potato plants had started to peak through the soil. Their growth has definitely been the fastest. The rest of the plants look pretty similar to when they were first transplanted.
After that, East Texas had a bout of warm sunny days. Praise da Lort. It had been pretty rainy and yuck up to this point. Just a week later, all of our plants had shot up!
As you can see, we added in some marigolds to help deter pests. We also added a strawberry plant in with the cucumbers, because YUM.
Around this time, we also added a dwarf gala apple tree to our bunch. Our family goes through apples like they’re going out of style, so this will be a huge cash saver for us. The apple tree came in bare root form, and we planted it in a galvanized tub.
We haven’t encountered any big problems up to this point except for ants. Several large ant piles began forming around the potatoes. I tried to drown them – didn’t work. After consulting with Penny, I coated the pile with a granule ant killer (instead of a spray that might infect the plants).
Then we went on vacation for a weekend, because when the weather is beautiful in Texas, you go to Galveston Island! We hired someone to take care of our animals and plants while we were gone, of course. Little Bro was pumped to make $20. He says we can go on vacation any time we want.
The excitement happened when we got home! Naturally, we went to check on the garden as soon as we got home. We were pleasantly surprised! After being gone only four days, our plants had gone through a period of astronomical growth! Thank you, sweet baby Jesus!
The potato plants were massive! On Penny’s advice, we mounded up the dirt over the bottom leaves, so that the plant could keep growing.
This was the first instance of noticeable growth in the lettuce. The weather stayed warm, so they were ready to come out of hiding.
The cucumbers have grown their second set of leaves now. Pretty soon, we will have to build a trellis for them to climb on.
The apple tree was totally bare when we left, but we came home to these little sprouts! We ordered our tree on Amazon.
We were also welcomed by our first rosebud of the season on our rose bush in front of the house.
It’s been about a month since the veggies were transplanted, so we added in some fertilizer.
We tilled up the soil around the plants with our hands (and gloves, cause EW), and gradually worked in the fertilizer around the roots. Be careful not to pour the fertilizer directly onto the plants, as you could risk burning them. We watered the plants after fertilizing so it could soak into the soil. I used a local brand of fertilizer, because #shopsmall.
We also noticed some runners from the grass that were peaking through around the edges of the garden. We pulled the weeds as close to the base as possible. They are just competing with the veggies for nutrients, so it was eviction time.
We were also able to see the first fruits of homesteading interdependence. When we got home, we needed to clean out the chicken coop. After four days, the Sassy Ladies had built up quite a mess. So, we used the chicken droppings as fertilizer for the garden! It is our hope that, eventually, the chickens will fertilize the garden, and the garden will feed the chickens.
Homesteading for the win! What a productive few days!
Any advice for us during the waiting time?