Wild Gardens for Busy Parents: Harvest

Small garden in September

My garden is neglected. What else would you expect from a wild garden tended by two busy parents. We don’t really tend it. We ignore it. This is fine, though.

This is payoff time.

We were very excited about the garden early in the year, and that’s when the garden needed a little time, money, and attention. Now, we go to the garden when it’s time to eat. That’s perfect!

September Garden Harvest

We know you are busy. If you are like Nature Mom and like me, you feel too busy to garden. We wanted to prove (mostly to ourselves) that it doesn’t take a lot of time to garden. Here is your proof that careful, daily tending is not necessary for an abundant harvest.

If my family and I were more conscious gardeners with more time, we would have cultivated the plants to control growth and promote fruit. We didn’t, and the garden is fine anyway. Maybe the ease of gardening will embolden us to be more ambitious about caring for the garden year after year. This year, the garden is wild.

Total Cost So Far

Total for September – $3.00 (stakes)
Total for August – $0 (nada!)
Total for July – $3.00 (supports)
Total for June – $16.50 (plants)
Total for May – $34.00 (manure, top soil, peat moss)
Total for April – $18.00 (hops)
Total for the year – $74.50

Total Time So Far

This past month, we’ve spent little time with the garden other than harvesting. We’re over the gazing, though it is fun to see how green has taken over our house. We did stake the tomatoes to prevent them from creeping across the lawn and to prevent the snails from finding them easily.

Harvest – 10 minutes
Staking – 10 minutes
Pest patrol – 20 minutes
Building supports – 10 minutes
Shopping – 1 hour
Digging & planting – 30 minutes
Previous time spent (research, prep, building raised bed, digging) – 9 hours
Total so far = 11 hours 20 minutes

You could certainly spend your allotted 30 minutes this month pruning, guiding, and generally keeping the garden to the designated spaces. Or, you could just skip it and spend more time over your homegrown meal.

Your 30 minutes for September:
Pest control – 10 minutes
Staking – 10 minutes
Harvest – 10 minutes

Hops Cones

Remember how this was meant to be a raised bed for three hops plants? They are in there if you look hard enough, but grapes, berries, and tomatoes have taken over. The hops are taking shelter under the grapes.

The hop plant grows cones, the hops. These are used to flavor beer—in this case, my husband’s homebrew beer. The cones grew this month, and they are close to harvest.

Cones of the Hop Plant

Wall of Green Garden

My usual progress image showing how the garden has changed month by month doesn’t show the full height and the full impact of the changes in the past couple of months, so I’m including two views this month.

Garden month by month

I planted my garden in a spot that had been, for about 30 years, an evergreen bush with large, flat leaves. My mother cultivated it; I was neglectful. I let it die. It became an eyesore, so we tore it out this past spring and replaced it with a raised bed that matches our house. I’ll miss the green through the winter, but I love what we’ve replaced it with. Over time, I want to replace more of the decorative trees and plants my mother planted with food.

I love the wild green wall that now lines my front walkway. Rather than 3 feet of tidy green, I have a 12-foot wall of green reaching out in every direction.

Garden from spring to fall
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