12/15 — New Book Published

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plant your gardenQuite a bit of time has been spent during the past two months authoring a book about my experiences with keyhole gardening. It is entitled Plant Your Garden In A Keyhole and is available at Amazon.

leon-tomsOtherwise, we spent most of November picking things like okra, green beans, black-eyed peas, zucchini, and a few other things, of note tomatoes.

In 2015, our tomato crop was extremely good. Tomatoes of all sizes were planted in the various keyhole gardens in the early spring and produced crops until mid-summer when the 105-degree temperatures apparently stressed them too much.

Their production slowed considerably in the extreme heat and most of the plants were pulled up to make way for other crops. I kept one of the plants that produced small, one-inch diameter tomatoes in one of my mini-gardens just to see what would happen. A few of the branches had apparently died, having turned brown and fairly crisp.

But by October, after the weather had cooled some, new green branches erupted from the dead branches and new growth had developed in the root branches. The count of new tomatoes was 88 by the end of the November, all from that one plant that normally I would have pulled up weeks before.

I had a surprise with a serpent melon that exploded in my garden named Belle, and as always my black-eyes and beans kept producing like crazy.

12As we enter December a lot of the activity has ceased due in large part to a couple of recent freezes. I am already making plans for spring, thinking ahead to what I am going to plant in our dozen keyhole gardens. It is always a fun challenge to try to outsmart Mother Nature and in the process to produce excellent, delicious crops. So far, our success rate has been very high.

DSC_0013For newcomers to gardening, I suggest you give my book a read to see if keyhole gardening is right for you. We are trying to promote the idea of backyard keyhole farms, which are really catching on. If water conservation, less backbreaking work, easy accessibility, your controlling the soil and the harvest, and teaching youngsters the art and science of gardening are important to you, as they are to me, then you might want to give keyhole gardening a try. It’s a great way to get back to nature in a convenient, lush, and high productive manner.