Dumb Things we do when Gardening

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Gardening is an adventure. Well, at least it is in my backyard. I’ve had the wandering dogs, the ground hog that was smarter than me, the drunk from the swamp and various other events to keep me occupied.

But when I am not being occupied by wayward visitors I keep myself busy with the “dumb things I do when gardening.”

I always try new things in the garden and most of the time they work better than I had planned. The ideas are from books or suggestions from other gardeners.

Growing vining beans and peas has always been time consuming. I used to set up trellises every year. The teepees would fall over or the strings get tangled or break. So one year I heard of a gardener who used an old bedspring for a trellis for peas to grow up. I happened to have one of the really old springs so thought why not give it a try?

It was rather a challenge getting the springs to the garden that was located behind the barn. Next I had to get it staked in place and that wasn’t too bad. By burying it four inches in the ground and pounding stakes into the soil on all ends the unique trellis stayed in place. It looked a bit homely but once the vines started to grow it might look quite interesting, especially if I added a flowering vine or two to the mattress spring planter.

Now I must admit the look from family and anyone passing by on the creek in canoes and boats was rather interesting.

The early peas grew well and later in the year I grew cumbers in the same area and used the mattress trellis for the crop to grow up. The flowering vines were in full bloom so it actually looked quite nice and a frog moved into the bottom of the trellis and proved me with entertainment while weeding.

But there was one flaw in the plan. And that was I was a lazy gardener that year. In the fall I took care of most of the garden but I did not take down the mattress trellis. In the late winter it fell down and in spring the grass moved in. I moved this garden to another area and by time I went back to get the spring out the grass was securely holding it in place. I tried prying it out but I lost the battle.

In the fall I burned the grass down around the mattress and again tried to pry it out. But by then the soil has settled in and it was there to stay.

So to make a long story short – I had to have a backhoe push it out for me. And all that was left was a jumble of wire and old metal frame.

Since them I have learned to make trellises that can go quickly up and down and put them up before the gardening season and take them down at the end of the season.

Would I use a mattress spring again? I don’t think so. Pre-planned trellises are easiest to put up and take down. And they are also cheap. I used the plastic piping you can get at any hardware store. But being the natural thrifty person I foraged most of the pipe and picked up the rest I needed at and auction for a few dollars.

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Denise

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