The little garden that might actually grow. Maybe. We’ll see.

I don’t have a ton of hope for my garden to excel this year, but a few things are popping up at least. I don’t think the soil we bought from a local place in the beginning of the summer to fill the raised bed was very good because the plants in it are growing very slowly or not at all while anything I planted in the actual soil in the backyard (in the space my dad rototilled for us) is growing fast.

People kept giving me tomato plants but I don’t have room for them in the garden so I planted them in pots and they’re starting to take off. I have a feeling we might have a lot of tomatoes this year. What I am really hoping for is a lot of summer squash because we can freeze that throughout the year. I also hope the butternut squash yields a bit so we can use that for butternut squash in the fall.

My green beans are definitely struggling. One row is coming up but the other one isn’t really growing at all. My dad left a pathway between the two beds and either I or Little Miss dropped some lettuce seeds there so lettuce is growing in what was supposed to be my path. I am not really sure when to pick it but I think I am going to pick a few leaves today or tomorrow and toss it in with my salad for lunch.

I plopped four broccoli plants in the one bed and they look healthy but I don’t know if they will grow actually broccoli or not. I have very little hope for the carrots. Only one tuft of the three rows I planted is actually sprouting at this point.

I gave up on the Swiss Chard. It wasn’t growing at all. Instead of growing, it shrunk and turned yellowish. I think I transplanted it too late in the season so I dug it out and replaced it with the basil and cilantro I had in another container.

I also have a zucchini plant that is trying its best to grow from an old seed my dad gave me. We will see if it can make it or not. Right now my goal is to remember to shut the gate to the garden so the little rabbits that have been hoping around don’t hop in and get my lettuce or other plants. My dog chases them when she sees them but she has little legs so she usually can’t catch up to them.

Dogs in this area aren’t allowed to chase deer (if hunters see a dog chasing a deer they will shoot the dog) but I wish she could chase the deer that is eating my hostas plants in front of the house. That deer seems to only come out at night, though because I’ve yet to catch her in the act. I double checked with my neighbor that it could be the deer and she confirmed that the deer do eat the Hostas each year. I plan to Google and see if there are any natural ways to deter the deer from doing that.

I did catch a pretty little young doe at the back of the house earlier today. She looked at me with wide eyes, chewing grass while I calmly told her, from about 30 feet way, that I’d like her not to eat my Hostas in the front of the back of the house. She didn’t look too concerned and finally trotted away. My dog was standing next to me but she was completely distracted and somehow missed the entire exchange.

Some guard dog she is. She can warm off the bunny rabbits, but not the Hostas eating doe who seems to think she’s part of the family now.

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.


  1. My green beans and my peppers are doing awful this year! I can’t figure it out because I have an inground garden and they have done beautifully in the past 😩
    But your plants do look good! I love spaghetti squash but my family hates it… So I never plant it! But I planted zucchini this year and will quite honestly sneak it into every dish I make lol! Thankfully my kids love tomatoes, potatoes and carrots and cucumbers, all of which are growing amazingly this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a big spaghetti squash fan so I have butternut and summer..did I write spaghetti? I may have because my brain is honestly shot these days. I have a small amount of potatoes and like I said..way too many tomatoes. I plan to steal cucumbers from my dad 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A couple of weeks ago. We both needed it. I asked the lady to give her bob cut sort of like mine but I think she just heard “like mine “ and she ended up with it a bit shorter than I was thinking. It’s super cute but I actually miss her long hair a little. I don’t miss the tangles it always got though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, you’re learning as you go and next year will be better because of it. When we first planted a garden several years ago, we learned what would do well and what wouldn’t. So now we stick to the tried and true. If you end up with a ton of tomatoes, you can easily freeze them and also make tomato sauce which can also be frozen. I do it every year, so if you need directions, let me know. I just got done preparing our peas (which do well in our garden!) for the freezer. They will be tasty come fall and winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew I didn’t have room for peas so I told my dad I would steal some of his. And, yes, I may need some advice on what to do with all those tomatoes. If they grow since the deer are trying to eat them. We placed them inside the garden fence now so hopefully they will be safe.


  3. Lisa, your garden sounds like the perfect spot to getaway. Your little girl in the photo is adorable!! If she doesn’t warm your heart right up, I don’t know what could!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story of the wandering doe. Your dog sounds like quite the charmer. 😀 Isn’t it amazing how they manage to blissfully miss so much? Oh well, at least there’s unconditional love!

    Here’s hoping your garden perks up in unexpected ways and yields your best crop yet. The climate swings have really posed some challenges for us growers. Sending love and blessings to you and your family. God bless! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is a nice getaway. And she is so helpful, yes. She totally brightens my day.

      That deer is still hanging out. She gave my son a complete panic attack tonight when he went to get our dog in the dark and she was by our mailbox.

      Thank you for stopping by!


  4. I think your garden all looks great! I always had a different experience every year with my gardening. One year I tried “spooning” the garden to keep out the bunnies! The internet had told me that if you stick plastic spoons all over your garden, the rabbits will be scared by those strange barriers. Another bit of false info. But it sure made for fun conversation. ha. Enjoy your time with your family, and I hope you have some great veges to enjoy too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad and husband put a fence up around the garden to try to keep the bunnies out and I’m glad because we have a ton of them! We also hoped it would keep the deer out so much dad made it so there wasn’t much space around the raised beds so they wouldn’t have much room to jump in. So far so good anyhow.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh and as for the wives tales .. I hadn’t heard of the spoons one but we have been told to try Irish Spring soap for the deer and hot pepper flakes for the chipmunks. My dad tried the hot pepper flakes for the chipmunks at his house (and moth balls) and they just tossed it all out of the hole 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard (but have not personally confirmed) that hanging Irish Spring soap bars around will keep deer away.

    It’s pretty weird that you can’t let your dog chase the deer away from your property, since they can be such a major pest and barking doesn’t hurt anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My neighbor said the Irish spring doesn’t work unfortunately.

      It’s not the barking that’s the issue — if they get used to chasing deer they might chase them during hunting season. When they chase the deer it’s harder for the hunter to get them and it also causes more stress to the deer and toughens the meat. In this area people hunt to eat the deer usually – not just say they got it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How interesting. My main experience with deer comes from living so far off grid, there were literally no other people (or dogs) to be concerned about.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep saying our garden is like a science experiment this year as it’s the first time I’ve planted in containers…And so far not too bad, I’ve definitely learned that I will need to do lettuce a little different next year…With you being in a new house this gardening season I’m sure you will learn and make changes in the garden in the years to come as well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure we will. I tried a couple containers too. It’s kind of fun to see what happens. Tonight I came out and found out the local deer had eaten the tops of the tomatoes I didn’t have inside the garden fence. My dad said deer don’t usually eat tomatoes but this one is!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow!!😂😬
        Our containers are in a fenced area so we don’t have that …

        we have cucumbers ready to go BUT they’re curved because they’re forming to the circle shape of the container, thought that was interesting

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha! Your dog sounds like mine! Not a care in the world unless there’s a cat nearby.
    Praying your garden does well! My mom and dad planted corn this year and it’s not doing very good at all. I’ve read that planting herbs will keep deer away, but I don’t know how true that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard a lot of what will keep the deer away. I’m hoping the fence will keep them out. My neighbor said our resident doe has been eating the tops off her plants this year so we will see. I’m going to look up some of those tips because I don’t want her to destroy all the plants around my house.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Just a little suggestion…the soil in your raised beds looks very shallow, so if you put a liner or cardboard in the bottom, the plants probably are struggling with root depth. Also, plants in raised beds do take more water than plants in the ground. And cilantro hates being moved, so don’t be surprised if it bolts. Hope you get your wish for lots of squash! You have an adorable helper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t have cardboard in the bottom or a liner but I thought it looked too shallow too. This is my first year so I will know a little more next year — maybe 😉 I had a feeling about the cilantro and the basil as soon as I did it. I thought “I should have Googled that first ..” but it’s okay.. I can try again with it. I’m thinking or doing an herbal garden inside at some point because I missed some of the herbs I really wanted this year. Thanks for the tips!


    2. Update: my dad says that the soil was tilled underneath the boxes so it shouldn’t be that but he thinks that we used too much fertilizer this year. We will figure it out for next year


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