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JesPiddlin's Garden

I love to grow plants in my outdoor garden. My vegetable garden is my first love, but the flower beds run a really close second. I will occasionally be updating this page with info on what is happening in my garden, as time permits me to do so.

I have had a lot of inquiries about our ComposTumbler and our Mantis Tiller. For this reason, I recently put up these pages about them.
Mantis Tiller
If you know of some other sites that have good information about these products, please e-mail me with their URLs (web addresses), so I can include them on the pages for others to see. Thanks!


This is our fourth year for our garden at this location, in Oklahoma. The first year, we didn't have much time to work in the garden, so we chose to make a "mow through" garden, in which we planted the plants far enough away from each other that we had room to mow between them. We saw no signs of earthworms in our black clay ground that year.

The next year, we dug up shovel-width rows with "mow through" space between the rows. We added lots of new soil, including top soil, potting soil, and peat humus. When we first dug up the soil, we had a few earthworms, but not many, and they were very small. After a while, we placed black plastic between the rows to kill out the grass between the rows and help us outline the area for last year's garden. Last year, our garden did a lot better than the first two years here.

Last year, we dug up our 3 ft. wide rows with shovels, and we saw many large earthworms and a lot of small ones. This tells us we have been doing something right so far! 8-) Since we had such a mild winter, the kale and mustard greens and radishes never quit growing over the winter. We bought a Mantis Tiller last year, and we have used it quite a bit, already. The ground is still rather heavy with clay, and we hope to fix that with all the extra ingredients we have been adding these past couple of years. We also started composting almost two years ago, and we have terrific neighbors who help add to the loads.

The flowers we grow are in many different flower beds around the lawn. We raise toads and aquarium fish in a "pond" which is actually a 6 ft. across kiddie pool we sunk 3/4 of the way into the ground to help keep the temps cooler in the summer and warmer in winter. My husband has a flower bed which almost completely encircles the pond. He keeps it there for the baby toads to live in when they first come out of the pond. They are only 1/4 inch long when they move out of the pond.


Here is a list of items we plan to grow this year:

beets,bell peppers, butterbeans, carrots, collards, corn, foot-long green beans, green peas, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, okra, purple hull peas, and cherry tomatoes.


Here is a list of the plants I can presently remember we are growing in the flower beds this year:

aloe vera, hyacinths, crocus, spider lilies, poppies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, petunias, pansies, lemon balm, pineapple mint, spearmint, lamb's ears, geraniums, rose moss, silver dust, silver mound, and others I can't recall at this time.


We try not to use any chemicals on our plants, but if worst comes to worst, we will use 5% sevin dust. We prefer to leave the pest control to our toads, lady bugs (and their larvae - look at my PICS PAGE for a picture of a ladybug larvae), hummingbirds, praying mantises, etc. We also plant petunias and marigolds in our garden to keep the pest population down. If pests start to get out of hand, and they sometimes do, I use a very diluted mix of mild liquid soap (not detergent) and water to spray the little critters down. The effect of the spray is almost immediate, but it must contact the bugs to actually work. Or, for aphids on my bean plants, I simply turn the water hose on with a strong spray and spray the little dudes away! That is about the extent of our pest control. We do all we can not to harm the bees and wasps, as they help pollinate the plants for us.


As they say....One man's trash is another one's treasure, and all those kitchen scraps and yard trimmings are black gold to an organic gardener when composted. Almost two years ago, we finally started our first composting project. We had two compost "bins" made of 2x4 welded wire fence enclosing a 3 ft. by 5 foot area and dividing it to make two bins. We also started using two rubber trash cans for more compost containers. But we didn't use them (for composting) for long, as we bought a ComposTumbler in mid-April, 1998.

Here is a copy of my 1998 front page for this Garden Site. Right now, it looks a lot like this page. That will be changing very soon!
View my Garden Journal
Check out my 1998 Pics Page
Here are my 1998 January - June Archives
And see my 1998 July - October Archives
And don't forget my 1998November - December Archives

This site was originally created March 4, 1998

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