Joel’s Garden–planting onions Jan. 31

Joel is the most dedicated vegetable gardener I ever met.  He is in the garden working almost every morning.  I am going to make him a periodic feature of this site by keeping a log of what I see him doing as the year progresses.

I’ve been having some medical concerns that have taken up quite a bit of time and have not been able to give this site my usual dynamic endeavors.
The garden is rather large, I would guess at least a hundred feet square, and it is surrounded by a 9 foot high wire fence to keep out the deer.  The last week in January, Joel asked me if I could build him a two part gate in the side of the wire fence.  He wanted something more convenient to the house and he wanted to be able to either walk in or to drive his tractor in. So I built side by side gates.  I took enough pictures for a gate tutorial and I will publish that later.  Here’s the gate:
A two part gate, one part to walk through, the other part to drive through.

A two part gate, one part to walk through, the other part to drive through.

Joel has been working on his dirt for years. He is a great lover of organic matter and he believes in adding it as often as he can. He also grows green manure cover crops in portions of the garden that he is not using at one time or another and then tilling these crops in.
To give an indication of the effectiveness of this organic addition process, We had torrential rains on Jan. 30 and I visited Joel on the 31st only to find him planting onions. I think a normal garden would have been way too muddy.
Joel had been waiting for days on his onion set shipment. He finally got the granex onions which he explained were the variety used to grow the popular Vidalia onions.  Joel is in his 70s but gardening keeps him young.  He started out working, laid out the sets, and had them planted in no time.  He mentioned something about needing to build him a root cellar one day.
Planting onions on a cold blustery day in North Georgia, Jan. 31

Planting onions on a cold blustery day in North Georgia, Jan. 31

Joel said that he had red onions and some other kinds coming.  I’ll let you know what he does next.
The next thing I will be working on at the garden site will be to develop a six foot weed free border on the fence line that will make the transition from grass to garden a lot nicer, to lessen mowing maintenance, and to make room for flowers and collectibles.  I will also do an entrance planting for the new gate. I love ongoing projects.

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net
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Cotton in Alabama, a Flagpole, and a Fall VegetableGarden

I have been rather proud of my article writing discipline for the last couple of years. The main consistency in my life has usually been inconsistency. I have missed several weeks in the past couple of months but it has been unavoidable. I am recovering well now from the operation. My throat is still inflated and I will have to wait another month for my store bought voice box.

I can, however, still speak as Johntheplantman. Yay for that. I have gone back to work on a limited basis and I just thought I would report on some of the things I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks.

I went for a ride to the greenhouse in Centre Alabama where I get my pansies. They had almost sold out but I was able to book enough for my needs. As soon as the frost hits I will be changing out color for a number of clients. I like my trips to Alabama because the minute I cross the Georgia/ Alabama line I feel like I have entered another era. The fields of cotton looked like snow. I had to stop for this photo:

cotton in Alabama

cotton in Alabama

A day or two later, I got to admiring a flag pole. The rope that holds the flag had broken and needed replacing. I looked up at the pole and determined that it had been made by using bell adaptors to put pieces of galvanized pipe of different sizes together. Three sections of pipe graduating from 2 inch to inch and a quarter with a cap and a pully on top make a heavy situation but someone had thought it out well with a simple swivel base made of angle iron. All we had to do to get the pole down was take out the top bolt

swivel base for an easy to service hand made flagpole.

swivel base for an easy to service hand made flagpole.

It was a heavy job for two men but the pole was lowered so that I could get to the pully and replace the rope.

Lowering the flagpole for servicing

Lowering the flagpole for servicing

We raised the pole, put the flag up and there she flew in all her old glory

Old Glory in her space

Old Glory in her space

A couple of weeks ago I took my wife, Dekie out to  Joel and Lynn’s house to see their new flower garden that I called “country formal.” You may see the article about this garden here. We got to drinking coffee and talking and I suggested that Dekie might like to look at their wonderful vegetable garden, also. I didn’t have to twist Joel’s hand very hard. He loves his garden. We stopped on the way into the garden to get some tasty raspberries that were still available in October.

Raspberries in Georgia in October

Raspberries in Georgia in October

The minute I saw the garden I knew I had to go get my camera from the truck. By the time I got back, the tour had begun.

Lynn and Dekie check out the garden

Lynn and Dekie check out the garden

Lynn harvested some lettuce for our dinner. I was interested to see that she was not only cutting lettuce leaves, but thinning the row at the same time.

Good salad for dinner tonight

Good salad for dinner tonight

I was interested in the leguminous cover crops that Joel was growing. He sows seeds of nitrogen fixing plants on fallow ground and later plows it under to loosen and enrich the soil. He is quite a gardener.

cover crop to be plowed in for soil enrichment

cover crop to be plowed in for soil enrichment

I will probably take a more in depth look at the details of the garden next week. I need to visit it again and update my pictures.

Fall vegetable garden in North Georgia

Fall vegetable garden in North Georgia

********

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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