Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trash-picked Tuesday: How does your Garden Grow?

This is one of those times where I wish I had a "smell-o-vision" widget for this blog. I woke up this morning to a delightful warm breeze carrying the scent of ripe sweet corn. One of my all-time favorite scents. It's one of the big reasons I love living in the country.

I have always loved this time of year for the sights, smells and tastes from my garden. Over the years living here we've really learned a lot about cultivating a garden, as well as how to make use of all the fresh vegetables.

And in true SusieQT fashion, it's all about maximizing our effort and minimizing our expenditures. After all, what good is growing your own produce if the process is costing you more than just buying those few things at the store?

So, besides the obvious, like starting things from seed (instead of buying plants) and composting instead of buying fertilizer, how do you make a garden both economical and enjoyable?

Trash-pick some hardware and repurpose it for plant supports!

I trash-picked a couple rolls of vintage twisted-wire fence a couple of years ago. I have always loved the nostalgic look of this fence, as opposed to more modern square box wire or even chicken wire. Plus it's incredibly sturdy. After all, it had survived 50+ years outside before I even got it.

It was a little bit of an adventure getting it home- thank goodness I had the truck and one (but not two...) work gloves in the back. I got a couple scrapes and bruises loading it up, plus I was like two months pregnant at the time. But I still love to use it, and it has come in very handy as a support for cucumbers (top photo), sweet peas (above), climbing roses and green beans. I only wish I had been able to take it all- I had to leave the biggest roll behind because it was too heavy for me to lift.

What else do we grow in our garden? I'll try to list it all, but I always forget something:
lettuce, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, cukes, grean beans, potatoes, peas, pumpkins, chard, corn, onions, carrots, turnips, rhubarb, strawberries, grapes, blueberries. Plus apples, pears and peaches on our trees.

We try to be as self-sufficient as possible!


  1. Great idea with the wire! We've only been garden for 3 years and I totally aspire to what you're doing there. We've got 3 sisters (corn, squash and a great wall of beans) going this year, plus some disappointing tomatoes, and heaps of blackberries, carrots and onions, which is great. Last year I trash picked some garden bricks to make a strawberry patch, and it has done well too. Nowhere near self sufficiency yet, but maybe in the future.

  2. I love seeing your vegie garden in all its glory! I've only just started a no-dig garden, so my seeds are only just sprouting. We aspire to being as self-sufficient as possible too - better for the environment, better for your wallet, and better for you!