‘…How Does Your Garden Grow?’

Grady and I are so excited about our garden this year.  We did a lot of reading during the winter and a bit of prep work early in the season and it has been a lot easier to keep everything in order.


Winter Squash

Our first secret was tilling up the plot areas back in March before new weeds started emerging.  Then we covered it with mulch to help keep the weeds from coming in in-abundance.  That was a good idea, but we used straw and ended up with sprouts from the straw coming in heavily, next time we will try to put down a compost mulch instead.


Before we planted we pulled off the straw and then after the starts emerged we put down composted brooder bedding from last year.  It has helped so much in keeping the weeds down and water in the soil!



We also decided to plant indeterminate tomatoes this year, so Grady built me these wonderful trellises!  We also bought some twine and compostable clips to keep them nice and straight.  🙂


How are your gardens coming?

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.

13 Responses to ‘…How Does Your Garden Grow?’

  1. Cyndi Lewis says:

    Oh, if you could see our weeds! Now that strawberry season is over, we need to knock out the weeds. It will be a big battle!

    • Erin Phelan says:

      I feel for you. 🙁 Hope you have lots of hands to help, that always makes it faster and more enjoyable!

  2. I love the trellis idea! I have never seen the compostable clips; that’s such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lisa says:

    I want trellises like that! I bought pole beans without realizing they were pole beans, and told myself I’d get poles in before they needed it. Well, I didn’t, so now they’re flopping all over the garden. Trellis envy!

    • Christa says:

      I did the same thing! I meant to plant bush but accidentally planted pole beans. They were going crazy vining out everywhere. Got to where they were starting to strangle my tomato plants, so I fixed up some dowel rod and twine trellises. Then the vines completely overtook the dowel rods so I had to put a couple of bigger wooden stakes in there to help prop them up. Those things are crazy! But I hope I get some delicious beans out of them 🙂

    • Erin Phelan says:

      We tried pole beans this year too. Grady made a “tepee tunnel” for them with saplings and they are climbing on their own! I’m quite proud of those trellises 🙂 Hope you can get some one day!

  4. mary says:

    Beautiful! Good job 🙂

  5. Jo says:

    We used the “T” poles from an old clothesline to tie up our tomatoes this year.

  6. The squirrels ate all my strawberries and my few tomatoes! The squash and cucumbers are doing well. And they left the lettuce and kale alone.

    I’ve read that squirrels eat tomatoes and fruit for the water content. Will have to build good fencing next year to keep them out.

  7. Michael says:

    Looks awesome!!!

  8. Gardening is an interesting hobby .In my home i have tried tomatoes,curry leaves,sun flower and chilly. it depends upon soil too.

  9. For the past few years we have mulched heavily with wood chips. Works really well as a weed barrier, the few weeds that grow are easy to pull and builds soil over time. If you are interested, this idea is explored in the Back to Eden film…though we got here by accident when the power company dropped off four loads of mulch.

  10. I highly recommend that you watch the movie “Back to Eden” as Head Farm Steward referenced. It is located at http://www.backtoedenfilm.com. My husband and I watched this film two years ago and we never have to rototil, fertilize, and I can weed a 60 foot by 30 foot garden in about 45 minutes, which is only needed after it rains! You can see photos from our garden in 2012 on my blog at http://www.goingdutchcolonialstyle.blogspot.com. This year we were able to plant our garden by the third week of April, from seeds, while everyone else was dealing with frozen ground and frost warnings until almost June! (Welcome to Wisconsin!) We have already finished up our radishes, lettuces, and spinach before our neighbor’s were even getting sprouts. We have been enjoying fresh peas almost daily, as well as green beans. Yesterday, we picked 4 zucchini. I usually get my pictures up as we go, but we have been so busy this year with the garden and raising our six kids that I am a little behind…..