New Ideas for the Garden

Lemon Thyme

With lots of time at home I have been able to focus attention on gardening. My neighbor and I have shared tips and little plants across the back fence. I am looking forward to garden produce.

This year I have added mushroom compost to the garden to help break up the heavy clay soil. In some places I have added earthworm castings as a fertilizer. 

In the past I have lost squash and pumpkin plants to vine borers—the caterpillars that eats the inside of the plant’s vine. So I did an internet search for ways to prevent this problem. One suggestion was to place aluminum foil around the base of the stem—I tried that before without success. Or wrap the stem with cheese cloth. My squash and pumpkin plants now have cheese cloth around their stems.

Update 8/12/2020: I have picked (and made into dinner veggie) two zucchini squash with more coming. I have butternut squash coming.

Another suggestion was to companion plant nasturtium, chives, calendula or tansy around the squash/pumpkin plants. I have tansy and calendula growing next to the pumpkin plants and nasturtium and chives next to the squash. I also planted the squash in a new area, because rotating location of plants is a good idea. We’ll see how this experiment works.

For the tomato plants I put a mix of banana peel, crushed egg shell and coffee grounds deep in a hole, covered with some soil, before placing the tomato plant in.

I am thrilled that some of my herbs wintered over. The sage and thyme were in sheltered areas outside. My rosemary plant did well in a sunny bay window during the winter and is now outside.

I am looking forward to the time our state opens up—our district of Illinois is still shut down. I am anxious to have time together with friends and family. In the meantime gardening gets me outside, into the sunshine. I look in wonder at endless variety of plants and flowers that God has created for our enjoyment.

Do you have gardening tips for growing healthy plants?

Sharing this post with Tuesdays with a Twist and the Five Minute Friday writing community. Today’s prompt is: FORWARD

By Carol

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.


  1. I have a tip for your good garden
    that my history makes clear;
    if it’s established or just startin’,
    do not let me near!
    I have a knack for building
    guns and things that fly,
    but what I plant starts wilting
    however hard I try
    to keep the darn thing nourished,
    right water and right sun;
    where my neighbours flourished,
    my garden’s cut and run
    to afterlife, to make the leap
    to Heaven’s steaming compost-heap.

  2. I have benefited from those who lived in my house before me, who planted hope in the form of a garden. I’m literally reaping what they sowed.: figs, persimmons, lemons, cherimoyas, and guava. I love the lanvender that springs up each year, almost unexpectedly. I, too, am thankful for those who have planted hope in my life when I couldn’t see the point. Friends, family, and teachers who believed in my future more than I did. Keep planting, friend.

    1. Sounds like you have a wonderful garden! I visited your blog and enjoyed your reflection on hope–based on the story of the Shunammite woman. Blessings!

  3. I love gardening too! Having had the time over this season has been nice. I am pretty novice to gardening, as I have only done it a couple years, but I will be trying your compost mixture for my tomatoes!! 🙂
    FMF #3

    1. With gardening we learn by doing and sometimes experimenting. I hope you have wonderful tasty tomatoes this year!

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