Cindy's Informal Country Garden

Photo of vegetable gardenCindy's garden is located near the south slope of Mt. Cuyamaca.  She provides most vegetables for her family of three, and makes pickles from the many cucumbers she grows.  Decorative fencing is backed by hardware cloth to keep most of the critters out.  The wood chips are used for mulch and in compost.




Photo of vegetable garden

The garden beds are made from cement block. Originally, hardware cloth was installed under the blocks.  The beds are topped off each year with compost that Cindy makes from kitchen vegetable waste, straw, manure and other materials. No one walks on the soil-compost mix in the beds which are narrow enough to reach into the middle for produce.



Photo of raised garden beds


Photo of soaker hose

Soaker hoses are used to water the beds.  This canvas one is unusual and lasts longer than the plastic ones that clog from our mineral-rich water.






Photo of bee in cucumber blossom

Bees frighten some people, but they are necessary to produce most vegetables.  They carry pollen between blossoms.  Without them, most fruit or vegetables would not develop.  Bees seldom bother people unless they are provoked.




Photo of bee in cucumber blossom

Photo of purple string beans

These string beans please the gardeners eye and taste good too!  You can find several purple vegetables in seed catalogs.  Most turn the standard color when cooked.   If you don’t use chemicals in your garden, it is fun to walk down the row and eat the raw beans as you pick them.




Photo of purple string beans

Photo of purple bean blossoms

These blossoms can be decorative, too.







Photo of zucchini

Zucchini is easy to grow and is very productive. You can eat it as a vegetable and even make bread  or muffins with it. 





Photo of red dragonfly

You can find many fascinating and beautiful critters in the garden.






Photo of red dragonfly

Photo of corn

Corn is pollinated by the wind and is better planted in blocks than in rows. Every strand of corn silk must be pollinated or there will be missing kernels on the ear.


Photo of corn

Photo of tomato

Tomatoes need a sturdy support.  This heavy wire cage works well and the gardener can reach inside to pick the tomatoes.

Photo of mixed planting 

Cindy likes to pack her vegetables together in the beds to shade out most of the weeds.  Many gardeners enjoy finding plant companions that benefit each other. There are also combinations that don’t get along together.  Planting such combinations is called 'companion planting.'

Photo of sunflower 

Sunflowers are fun to grow as well as beautiful, and you can roast the seeds to eat.  Birds love them as much as humans do!  Cindy says she learned from her grandmother to plant extra food for the critters and extra green matter for the compost. 

Photo of basket with harvested vegies

Not only can you grow good things to eat, but you can gather the peelings,  leftovers and weeds and make compost to improve your soil.

Photo of waste vegetable material for compost


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