I believe that tilling soil for the garden is one of the first things you should do to get your garden ready for planting. This page will teach you how to till.
Happy July 3! I had to go to the dentist this morning. I thought I would be getting a crown but when the dentist saw the tooth that I broke last Friday, he said he would drill out the amalgam filling and do a large composite crown. I tell you I thought they would kill me in the chair, drilling and shooting water down my throat at the same time. I had a terrible time breathing while all of that was going on and I was tipped backward in the chair. My appointment was at 11am.
It is now 2:40pm and my mouth, lips, and tongue are still so numb. I cannot drink or eat at this point and I am starving. How much longer? I paid $467 to starve...Crowns now start at $1300 so I guess I lucked out but good golly, that is a lot of money for a filling. That is what a crown used to start at back when I had my crowns installed in the 1990s.
Mike with Nahass Construction is here today fixing various things. Of course, his number one job was to do a quick kitchen remodel. He got part of it done but not all of it so my kitchen is in shambles for the holiday tomorrow and everything is coated with a fine layer of sawdust. Fun times.
I worked late, trying to get orders filled but I was out too long for the last three weeks with multiple doctor appointments. I will have to work tomorrow to try to get caught up.
Again, we have to go through this kitchen stuff because the silly oven/microwave is all one piece and the part that we need now is $600.00. This is the second part to go out in two years on this not quite four year old appliance that was brand new when we bought the house. It is not something we would have picked. The couple who designed our manufactured home (yes, it is a glorified trailer) got a divorce while it was being built. So the mobile home company gave us a discount to buy it as is. We liked it for the most part so we saved some money and time.
Tilling soil for the garden in early spring is an important first step in getting the ground ready for your garden. If you want to grow a lot of produce in your garden, do not skip this important step. When we lived in San Antonio, we had hard clay soil with a lot of rocks, making it difficult for roots to go down deep into the soil. We had a hard time the first couple of years gardening in the house we built because of all of the rocks. In fact, I went through several tillers in vain.
At that point, I built raised beds all around the backyard and brought in good soil from local nurseries. I had no more problems growing vegetables there. We just
tilled in some compost and fertilizer. Then we would plant our seeds and
seedlings that we started indoors, mulch and water. Presto, vegetables!
Then four years ago we moved outside of Poteet on a farm. No rocks here. It is all sand at least 300 feet down! Surprisingly, everything grows well in the sand.
Happy Fourth of July! We are closed today but I am still working on orders for a while.
We have a "buy $20 worth of seeds and save 20%" sale going on right now so if you need fall seeds, it is a good deal.
I spent most of the day filling and closing seed orders. There are still many more. I finished up most of what was out there but I never even got to any new ones as there were so many pulled partway. Then we had taco bowls for lunch. We watched some weird movies. Then the mother of some of our newer employees brought by a tomato pie. We had never had such a thing before. It was delicious, sort of like a pizza.
Then I folded five loads of laundry. There is one more drying in the dryer right now but I do not think I will fold that one tonight. Tomorrow, the contractor will, hopefully, finish up the kitchen because it is a mess.
Tonight, while watching some TV, I was looking on Facebook. I watched a video of someone in the area selling "salsa tomatoes" that were actually slicing tomatoes with spots on them. Some were wrinkling because they are past their prime and going bad. Honestly, I wouldn't have eaten any of the tomatoes in that box being shown on Facebook as for sale right now. The person who supposedly grew them was advertising them as salsa tomatoes and sells them to the public.
Salsa is made from roma tomatoes, not round slicing tomatoes. Do you know why? Roma tomatoes have less water and more pulp than slicing tomatoes which is what you want in salsa or any kind of sauce--less water and more pulp. And they should be firm and red, not soft, and without spots or wrinkles. You don't want to can tomatoes that are going bad. Nor do you want to sell them if you want to keep your customers. LOL!
We believe that tilling soil for the garden is a good thing. The no till garden beds seem to be a really big deal now on YouTube. Everyone is so worried about filling their new raised beds with rocks and cardboard and then some dirt on top. If that is what they want to do, that is fine but a lasagna layered garden is not for me. God gave us dirt to use so that is what we are using.Farmers have been plowing up the soil and mixing in fertilizer and compost for thousands of years, yielding good results.
I realize there are many gardeners now who believe that tilling the soil is harmful. They say tilling the soil compacts it and destroys the nutrients. Some bring in fresh soil, cover it with cardboard, shredded newspaper, compost, leaves, and other mulches and then plant seeds and seedlings in this layered garden. It is called lasagna gardening and I have tried it. It works okay, but I prefer to loosen my soil and mix in compost that I have made from kitchen scraps in my backyard for a good gardening mix.
We always say that gardening is one big experiment and if you want to experiment and try the no till garden, go ahead. If you are tilling soil for the garden, go ahead and do that. Whatever way you like and want to do is fine. Just try gardening. It is a relaxing hobby and a great way to learn how to grow food. It is satisfying to dig in the dirt, plant a seed, and grow something beautiful.
Happy Wednesday! It is already 2:30pm and time for Matt to go to the bank and take all of the seeds that are going to our Amazon store over to UPS. I have been busy all day long filling orders from our website. We are having a 20% off sale right now when you spend $20 or more on seeds. I would still be filling seed orders but Mike from Nahass Construction is back and he is fixing a hole where I was sitting. So I am at a table in the middle of Fulfillment typing this. He is supposed to finish my kitchen up today and then I will have the joy of putting all of the kitchen back together again. Yay!
I cleaned out and refilled the pond this morning. The fish seem to be doing well in the heat. Actually, the high today is only supposed to be 95° which is very strange but I will take it after weeks of it being over 100°. The weather channel says it is 95° right now but feels like 105°. Swell. I wish it would pour. It has been cloudy both yesterday and today but it does not rain. The grass is brown and crunchy.
We have not had any customers at all today. Isn't it funny that on Saturday when we were closed, we had some and yesterday, because the stupid gates were open on the timer, we had all kinds of cars in and out of the place. We were in the den in the afternoon, trying to enjoy a movie and that stupid doorbell went off over and over. On Saturday, David sent me out to check the mail because the gate was closed. A couple drove up and wanted to come in. I explained we were closed. I then offered twice to open up for them and they declined. When we are closed, they come. When we are open, they don't.
Well, Mike finished up the Fulfillment and Production repairs as well as the kitchen late this afternoon. I started putting things in order in the kitchen but then I just got too tired.
This evening, when it was time to put the chickens away, David wanted me to flag my sweet potato plants so no one would pull them up when they weed tomorrow. I flagged all 15 that were still alive and pulled up a bunch of weeds.
Then I went to see how my peanuts are. Two more plants were gone. There were three of the Tennessee Reds but now there is just one and in the next bed, there is just one Virginia Jumbo. Someone around here just does not want me to grow peanuts. I have never done anything to these people we pay except treat them well. So I flagged the two I have left with green flags. Why would these kids care whether or not I grow some peanuts on my own land? It is truly ridiculous for them to keep on pulling them up.
You can invest in a gas powered till like I am using in the photos on this page (Yes, that is me, David in my San Antonio backyard taken in the spring of 2014) or you can do it the old-fashioned way by using a shovel and a hoe which I have also done. Using a shovel and a hoe is difficult and very time-consuming, especially if you have hard or rocky soil.
I have had several tillers over the years. With all of the wear and tear they get in our hard dirt, they do not last long. This is why we brought in good garden soil from local nurseries by the truckload. Once you get the dirt loosened the first season, it is not difficult at all. The soil stays pretty loose if you don't walk on it. Earthworms move through it and keep the soil loose.
It is now 3pm and it has been a very long day of filling orders and finding seeds as they come in. The weird thing is that it actually rained this morning on Nacho and his crew and on most of our crew who were out in the back 40 weeding when the storm hit. An hour before, I was outside taking care of the animals and washing out three chicken waterers. They were nasty and I gave them a good scrub. It was and still is so very humid today so I was sopping wet with sweat when I finished. Of course, before I got inside, I ran into Nacho and his crew with sweat streaming down my face. I went in and got washed up and ready for work.
The water pressure on our city water was way down as I cleaned up. They have a lot of problems with the city water out here. After I was ready, I was loading the dishwasher and noticed most of our staff out in the back.
I came out to start the orders and found a threatening email from some woman who bought some flower seeds from us in August of 2022. She decided to choose today to complain that they did not grow. When didn't they grow? Did she try to grow them in upstate New York last fall? How and where did she store them throughout the fall and winter? Did she plant them when it was still very cold this spring? Why didn't she complain last year or at least this past spring? She refuses to answer any questions at all or give us any information. Anyway, she said she is "a big YouTube garden expert and share all my practices with viewers and other garden enthusiasts." She said if we did not refund her right away that her next video was going to be about us and how we don't give refunds for seeds she bought almost a year ago.
We asked her when and where she planted them and how they were stored for almost a year because all of that can affect whether or not seeds will grow. She will not give us any information. Instead she is threatening to blackmail us. We looked her up but could not find a YouTube channel with her name or location about gardening.
I follow some big YouTubers and they never say they are big YouTubers. They are mostly humble people who are amazed that God has blessed them with a good living and a large following. We don't give in to blackmailers. We are a good company that has been in business for 14 years. We try to help people and educate them if they are doing something incorrect in regard to gardening. We are amazed by how many people try to get free seeds and free shipping by saying their seeds did not grow. Then we test the seeds here and plant them. They almost always grow just fine so we know there is some sort of operator error.
We are not a big company who can just throw free seeds with astronomical shipping costs to the wind every time someone wants free seeds. The funny thing is people ask us for free seeds all the time and they even expect us to pay the shipping when they ask us for them. I guess folks assume we are rich. We are not. We have had to cut our work force in half since last summer because of the escalating costs to do business.
Last year, we had 25 full time employees and then in July of 2022, we did a big layoff. Now we have five full time employees including the three of us owners and eight part timers, most of whom come in three days a week to help out. No one will work on Saturday except for the three of us owners. We sure don't get paid extra because there is no extra. We are told that all of the seed companies around the country are going through slow sales right now and have been for the past year.
We have not had a vacation in years and we stay here on the farm and work seven days a week. We go into Walmart about twice a month. The only times we leave are for church on Sundays, once in a while to buy some groceries, and to go to the doctor or dentist and over the past month, we have had quite a few of those appointments. It has been an expensive time for us.
It is almost 4pm now and the wind has really picked up outside. The ominous clouds are back.
Tillers can be purchased or rented for a few days. I bought mine because I used it often. I planted in beds in the greenhouse year round plus I put in spring and fall gardens outside of the greenhouse, around our yard. Of course, this was all when we lived in San Antonio for 20 years and the soil was rocky clay. Out here, near Poteet, we do not need a tiller. We have beach sand without the water and it is easy to dig in the sand.
Tilling soil for the garden still gets done out here with shovels as we mix in compost, fertilizers, etc, to make the soil a bit better for growing. Our rabbit manure is good to add to the garden, even while the plants are growing. Rabbit manure is one of the few animal manures that does not burn the plants. Most manure has to be composted before adding it to the garden while plants are in the ground which takes some time.
Today was another hot and humid day full of orders. No customers, just heat and orders. We had a skeleton crew but it was a good day. I got all of the orders done except for five. Those five orders are waiting on Solar Yellow Carrot and Mammoth Red Clover. For some reason, there is a long shipping time on them. But every other order went out the door.
I cleaned up the desk of the lady who does the orders in the hope that she will really be back on Monday.
Michelle, my cleaning lady, came today with a helper and they cleaned up a lot of the house. Of course, I have been working on it since last week and I have cleaned all sorts of things that I thought were being cleaned but have not been, like vents, closet and pantry floors, vents, fans, and under and behind things...
One good thing that happened today is I found David's missing keys in the bottom of the laundry hamper when I went to wash some whites! Yay! They had been missing since Tuesday morning. We looked all over the house, the buildings, the yard, the garden, the driveway, and the back 40 with no results until I did laundry this afternoon.
Remove rocks, large stones, sticks, or anything else that might jam up the tiller before you begin. That means, you should probably dig up a portion of where you plan to put your garden with a shovel, to test how rocky it is before you break a tiller.
Tilling is breaking up the soil, loosening it, and mixing in compost, dead leaves, fertilizer, and leftover crop residue from the previous gardening season. This allows the roots of the plant to grow down into the soil easily and mixes nutrients throughout the soil. Till down about eight inches into the soil through the whole garden area.
If you are growing cover crops to put nutrients back into the soil that your garden plants depleted, the easiest way is to till the plants under in your garden beds.
Good morning! It is a big relief that I have today off. I have been doing laundry and kitchen cleanup as well as some computer work. I am not working on orders today. I have been working on them every weekend as well as the 4th of July and I am taking this day for myself and what I want to do. If all goes well, the lady who does the orders will be back at it on Monday. I sure hope so. I really need a break.
David made some chicken breasts in our air fryer for lunch. We bought an air fryer about six years ago. It is large and difficult to handle so we hardly ever use it. The chicken came out delicious. I guess we should use it more often but it is so big. I have seen nice compact ones now.
For dinner, I made a pan of beef enchiladas. They were very good. We were going to watch Svengoolie but it was Ghoulies and had hints of witchcraft and devil worship. We passed and watched Kong Skull Island instead.
Once your tilling soil for the garden is complete, you can buy a soil testing kit to make sure your soil has all of the nutrients it needs for your garden to be a success. If you need to add something to the soil, you can add it once your soil is tilled.
Happy Sunday! We have a heat index here of 107° today according to our weatherman. It is 96° right now at 1pm. I took care of the animals early this morning and I whipped up a German Pancake for breakfast. It was so good!
Then we went to church and there was a big dead cow lying on the side of the road right by the church. It was so sad.
After church, one of David's farmer friends brought him some seeds from his field. We grow some of our seeds to sell and some we get from area farmers. He left and we ate leftovers from yesterday for lunch.
Once the garden has been tilled, add whatever your soil may need, if anything, according to the soil testing. Till in the compost you have been making. Add your fertilizer to the soil just before you plant. Do not add it too early or you will need to do it again.
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