A Garden of Wills

Life in the Farm Lane

6/26/2014 1:54 PM

It’s amazing how a garden can get the best of you. Things are going along great, then all of sudden … surprise… you have weeds, or one of those woodland creatures has come along and eaten the tops off your peas.

One time, my husband asked why I continue to do battle with a garden. Sometimes, I think it’s a mix of tradition, humor and spite. The idea that a plant could get the best of me and force me to admit defeat is just not acceptable.

I did scale the garden back some this year with fewer tomato plants, cantaloupes and watermelons, but the rest of the arsenal is there. The newest addition is sweet potatoes. Fortunately, my father-in-law is the one who plants the sweet corn patch, so it’s looking great.

My latest battle of wills is with the invasion of a morning glory vine plus a cucumberlike vine that is not susceptible to glyphosate. It’s a messy deal. If it gets ahead of me, it can overwhelm the garden and get the best of me. And it will tangle itself around my sunflowers, and wreak havoc among the cucumber, watermelon and cantaloupe vines.

As we work our way through June, so far so good, although I need to get the weeds out of the green and lima bean plants. Now that all of the seeds have emerged, I can use Preen in the garden to help combat the weed pressure.

And, I am on guard for the bug invasion that will attack my zucchini and squash plants.

On a tip from one friend, I am getting ready to plant seeds to help stagger and extend the zucchini season of the garden.

As for how the garden will progress this year, it looks better than in 2013. Fingers are crossed that I can keep up the pace and have a successful crop for 2014.

-- Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor

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