I don’t think we’ve ever been this far ahead in our farm to do list ever. We have been using every spare minute to tackle our projects around this farm and it feels good. The garden is almost completely planted, the roses are dug, the sheep are sheared, the chicken coop is cleaned…. For the first time I feel like we are actually caught up. We were so caught up that we headed north to do two days of absolutely nothing but walk the beach and read a book. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I finished a book and this weekend I flipped the last page on reading Provence 1972 for the second time (note: the ONLY book i’ve ever read twice I love it so much).
It is interesting reading a book for the second time a few years later. You pick up on different things, moods, experiences, things resonate differently with you than it did before. It was an enjoyable experience and one that I hope to be able to do again soon. But for now we have to get our cut flower tarps prepped and ready for planting this week, set up irrigation and spray our liquid fence to keep “peter rabbit” from eating my beans.
Beauty takes a lot work around here. But the work we put in now will pay off all summer long once we are eating straight from the garden and playing in the yard. Around this time every year I say to myself, “Abigail, you’ve done it again. You’ve bitten off more than you can chew”. But as Joe and I make a list each morning and cross it off at night we get closer and closer to completion of our spring work on the farm.
It’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelm of everything you CAN get done vs. everything you WANT to get done but the joy is found in what you DO get done and being satisfied with that. Understanding there is always going to be more work to be done but being content with the spot you are at. Taking the time to enjoy both the progress and the process.
So as we creep into the weekend what is on the agenda?
- opening the pool, or at least starting it
- mulching the garden area
- putting down fresh pea gravel
- stenciling out cut flower garden tarp
- finishing touches on the planters around the porch
- weed rose garden bed
If we can tackle at least half of these things it will be a job well done this weekend.
As I was working in the garden yesterday I thought I would give an update on some of the vertical growing equipment that I bought last year to help support some of my plants.
By far the best investment were these titan squash tunnels that I bought from Gardeners.com. They are the most well made structures and were able to handle squash growing all the way up the top. They did not bend our buckle and are the best price on something this size I’ve seen on the internet (some have been priced up to $1000!) these are $99 and a steal. This year I am going to use them for my cucumbers and sweet peas.
These squash tunnels can only be found at gardners.com (the Titan squash tunnel brand). I have many Titan products in my garden from gardeners and the quality is unmatched for the price. I was considering building my own squash tunnel but by the time I added up time and supplies these $99 tunnels were more cost effective for me.
Vegetable update: The first year I grew climbing zucchini squash but once it got really hot in Michigan my squash grew a bit tired and it didn’t look as full or lush as I wanted it to. The second year I grew cucumbers and sweet peas and the rapidly climbing vines absolutely loved the netting and really flourished. I’m not sure fi I am going to do sweet peas again because it was hard to cut and dead head them from the arch but they sure looked incredible.
The ebay purchases were a bust. I am going to be able to get one more season from the green obelisks but after this year I’m afraid they will be garbage and I will invest in some better longer lasting supports next season as my budget for new garden supplies is tapped (new tarps and irrigation did me in this year).
Update: The ebay purchases were tossed. When I pulled them out of the ground during fall cleanup they basically disintegrated from rusting.
Moral of the story is investing in good long lasting equipment even if it’s a piece a year is better than buying products that only last a season or two.
I have been super happy with all the pieces I have bought from gardeners.com and they stand behind their product. I have purchased the pea tunnel this year that I am going to use for my beans.
Update: the pea tunnel functions and lasts just as well as the Titan squash tunnels. I have become pretty loyal to the Titan products now. The price and quality makes one very happy customer. This years (2021’s) investment is the Titan tomato towers.
I hope these reviews help. Not all products are home runs but the Titan brand so far has been a real winner for me.
What investments are you making this year for your gardens?