Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mom's garden in the woods of TN

My mom has gardened for many years, and when they moved to this place...she wasn't about to let all the trees and rocks get in her way of gardening. She mostly gardens tomatoes and peppers. She also has a few parsnips, onions, spicy basil, regular basil, mint...etc.
Needless to say, gardening in the woods, with a ground that is almost completely rock (envision the rocks you see when they cut roads through the mountains), is not an easy endeavor. She picked a spot down by the road next to the drive that looked like it might get the most sun...which still is not a lot.

When we were driving by the garden I said to her that she must trim the heck out of her tomato plants...cause they are very skimpy! "NO, that is just how they are," she said. I thought about it that night and realized that it must be the lack of sun and the amount of rock she has to grow in. So she has to plant A LOT of tomatoes to even get a similar amount of harvest that I do with only about 8 plants. I think she plants anywhere from 30-50 plants every year. She does get a decent harvest all together by the end of it all and does a LOT of canning.
There is JA and DA checking out the garden. JA picked a tomato for gramma...it was red.

Her peppers here must like the shade a bit, cause my peppers don't look this good! She has Banana, Habanero, Jalapeno, and another she is not sure of...maybe Pablano.

Here is a view of all the tomatoes.

This is one tomato plant...doesn't he look sad? He is reaching for the sun!

This is some of the basil and spicy basil. I don't think it is too happy with the lack of sun either. They were planted in the spring and some still look like seedlings. They never turned bush like. But I think she is gonna bring some in for the winter, so maybe they will grow some more.

Most of her tomatoes are kind of small, but these were really small. About golf ball size.

This is the harvest she had on the counter when we got there. A few tomatoes, some habanero, jalapeno, and banana peppers. They are pretty. And she makes some nice salsa to can with what she gets from her garden.
I would have to say they are pretty determined to try to grow their garden in the wood and rocks. They do pretty well despite...
Maybe someday SF will be willing to cut down a tree or two so she can get some more sun to her garden! They do have one spot that would get a lot of sun, but it is even further away than what they got, and it already takes about 4 hoses to get down to this one from the house. And they said that there is only about a half inch of topsoil out there on top of the rock in order to get grass to grow. Whew! They need some SFG'S and a pump!!
Meet JADA! Her name comes from my kids initials, JA is my son and DA is my daughter. They love Jada! And Jada loves them. She is a nice dog! Part German Shepherd and part Alaskan Wolf. She is HUGE! Well over 100 lbs.

They have another dog too...Macy, but she is scared of the kids and hides when we are there. She is a Border Collie.


  1. Oh, that's so unfortunate about the tomatoes! Maybe some trees can be cut down to allow more sunlight? It's funny that you mentioned the peppers doing well in the shade, because my shaded ones always outperform the ones in full sun.

  2. Your poor mom! I feel her pain. I don't quite know where I'm gonna put my tomato plants next year. Everywhere I look, all I see is shade shade shade. I she against cutting down a few trees?

  3. I'm sure a tree or more has been cut down here and their over the past few years due to damage. But I don't think SF wants to cut any more down unless they HAVE to be taken down. They feel they do good enough with what they have...and I am sure that just as any gardener they will continue to find solutions and grow their garden. I think it is one of those things where they have put so much work into this one location they don't want to "start all over" in a new garden spot.

  4. What a challenge your mother faces. Maybe SFG-ing may help with the soil issues. Also, self watering containers could be placed in spots that do get some sun. Otherwise you'll have to plant more next year so you can share your harvest with them :)

    I have tagged your blog for a "Meme Award." Thank you for your inspirational blog and kind remarks over this past season!


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