BLOG 270—So, How Does Your Garden Grow?

BLOG 270So, How Does Your Garden Grow?
Don’t sleepwalk through life.   
I hope to illuminate your Life with my Words.

*** This blog looks best when viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.
*** The joy I experience in life is a wondrous thing!
*** I was hit by two trucks, but I remain happy.
*** Going through a 37-day coma–Yikes!
*** I want to help you to get the most out of life before you die.
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*** I lived in my van for six years, visited all US national parks, and met Beth.
*** Beth and I married on 2/22/22 at 2:22.
*** Thanks, Beth, for editing and adding to each weekly blog.
*** I will have places to show you and tales to tell.
*** You will find secrets to unfold and good news!
*** What are you passionate about? 




You will have many in your life who assist and teach; I hope I am helping to guide you. Coaches like me wish to lighten the path on your road. Remember that it is up to you to generate your journey toward excellence. I’m not trying to show you “the way”; I am trying to help you find “your way.” Writing this blog every week is new and different for me—I love it!  


Are you accomplishing what you want before your eventual death?
You can (and should) make changes to improve your life–at any age.
Start today, and you can build the life you desire. 


You already know much about what I write, and I want to remind you of these ideas and show that my views can provide additional thoughts, along with yours, to help you. 


Much of what I write about is taken from my experiences; I have gone through much.
I hope to spread ideas so that you can live a better life.
Remember, only you know what is best for you. 


Don’t forget that you are only as young
as the last time you changed your mind


Keep your thoughts and self-talk fun and productive, and always reach for more advancement. 



TOPIC FOR THIS WEEK —So, How Does Your Garden Grow?
After a static winter, there is always something magical about watching the world outside our windows come to life again. New green grass on the ground, and leaves appear on towering trees and modest shrubs; flower bulbs push through sun-warmed soil; clumps of grass and clover tumble across yards dotted with dandelions.

  Our front yard — Our garden! 
The potatoes are in the foreground. 

It’s a time of year when everything seems refreshed and renewed, ready to enchant us with color and beauty around every bend. It’s a new world in which everyone can delete. New birds are outside our window; why lookie there–growth? And it’s happening right now! 


Why does gardening seem to be so beneficial to health? It combines physical activity with social relations and exposure to nature and sunlight, all good. In the summer, sunlight lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels, and the fruit and vegetables produced positively impact the diet.
A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, for cultivating, displaying, and enjoying plants and other forms of nature. The single feature that identifies even the wildest garden is control. The garden can incorporate both natural and artificial materials. 


Connecting with nature is one of the best motivations for people to have a garden: the sunshine on their faces, hands in the dirt, and feeling interconnected to nature. The garden is so much more than just plants and flowers—it is the birds, bees, bugs, spiders, snakes, and all the small mammals. 
Why is gardening so beneficial to health? It combines physical activity with social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight. In the summer, sunshine lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels, and the fruit and vegetables produced positively impact the diet.
It’s time to get to the new garden! I love digging my hands into freshly turned soil in anticipation of the future abundance. Nothing beats feeling attuned to the power of nature. Building the garden and planting the vegetables is such a joy for me. 
Now, you don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate the beauty of the natural world or marvel at how a seed bursts forth with tender shoots and determined roots. At this time of year, you see it all over, and you can see the growth right outside your home. You have to understand that growing your food is a fabulous feeling.
Gardening development comes in many shapes and forms—across an acre in the countryside or in a small pot on your city balcony—and offers you inspiration and encouragement. Nurturing a plant is not so different from cultivating ourselves: We all need sunshine, water, and plenty of TLC to grow.
As I’ve written, I think a grass lawn wastes space and time. Instead of all these “lawns,” if people grew vegetables, the world could be fed and prosper. Having a garden does not take much more than maintaining a lawn; DO IT! If you don’t have one — it’s time to build your vegetable garden. Even if you have a window to grow inside or a patio outside your apartment, you CAN GROW!
Below are the benefits you will find from having a garden >>
1–It can lower your blood pressure.
Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity most days of the week can prevent and control high blood pressure. I suggest gardening or raking leaves for 30-45 minutes as examples of how to hit that recommended amount instead of going for a boring run.

Green Beans and Carrots

2–Gardening burns a lot of calories.
You can burn about 330 calories doing one hour of scant gardening and yard work — more than walking at a moderate pace for the same time.
3–Spending time outside is good for your bones.
When you’re outdoors and your skin is exposed to the sun, it prompts your body to make vitamin D. This vitamin helps you absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation.
4. Growing your own food can help you eat less and healthier.
Besides the physical exercise you’ll get cultivating a vegetable garden, a productive plot can promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce.


Zucchini and cabbage

5–Gardening can relieve stress.
Gardening is very positive and correlated with a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms. Some hospitals use planting and flower arranging as a type of therapy. Patients rebuild both their physical and mental health.
6–It can provide a source of society.
You don’t have to weed alone – nor should you. People who worked in gardens have had significantly better self-esteem, total mood disturbance, and better general health compared to those who did not garden.
7–Gardening can make you happier.
Growing plants will also help boost your mood. Gardening increases quality of life and reduces mood disturbance, which may be related to how it changes your outlook.
I’ve written about how I built my gardens; here it is again. See the photos to see how they look when complete. I use free pallets obtained from Lows or many stores. I cut these to 22” and screw together one on each end and two between the single ones, so they are 4’ x 6’. Then, as you see, I screw a 2”x 6” board on top of each side.
These gardens stay strong, and you can sit on the side to watch your plants grow. If necessary, you can cut them down to any size that will work for you–perhaps a 4’ x 4’ garden? You want to leave the bottom open for worms and bugs suitable for your garden. If on a patio, you can cover the bottom to protect things. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 610-400-3233.
Here are some ideas to help you >>
Choose a garden type.
Pick a spot: Consider sunlight, ease of access, and visibility from within the home.
Clear the ground.
Test and improve the soil.
Prepare planting beds.
Determine a weed strategy.
Buy the highest quality seeds possible so your plants germinate and thrive.
Plant your garden.
Water at the right time
Watch this video to help you get started >>
Read these ideas for your garden >>
1–Determine your climate zone; I am in zone 7. Success in gardening is all about putting the right plant in the right place at the right time. That starts with understanding the crops that fit your climatic region and the season they should be planted.
The USDA maintains a plant hardiness zone map searchable by ZIP code,,
This divides the US into 13 zones based on average annual minimum temperature. Find your zone and familiarize yourself with the fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that thrive in it (if you’re outside of the United States, consult international hardiness zone maps).
Once you know your climate zone, look up the estimated first and last frost dates for the duration of the growing season. When you go to your local garden center, you can look for plants labeled with the number corresponding to your hardiness zone. If you’re buying seeds, compare the number of “days to maturity” listed on the seed packet to the length of your growing season.
2–Decide what to grow. I suggest growing vegetables to feed yourself and your neighbors. Use the constraints of your climate zone and your personal preferences to determine what plants you’d like to develop. Do you want a flower garden, vegetable garden, herb garden, container garden, or a combination of several options? What do you like to eat?
3–Choose the ideal garden location. Most flowers and vegetables require several hours of direct sunlight daily, so look for an area of your yard that receives enough full sun for what you’re growing. Growing plants will also be easier on flat land near a structure that provides wind cover. If you don’t get sun, you may want to build a garden on the roof of your house.
4–Acquire essential gardening tools. When you start your garden, you’ll need to invest in a sturdy shovel and gloves at a minimum. There are several other tools of the trade that might come in handy: a potting soil scoop to quickly fill pots and planters, a standard kitchen knife to make precise cuts when harvesting vegetables, a battery-powered or rechargeable cordless drill to make drainage holes when converting found objects to planters, a hori hori helpful knife for dividing clumps of roots and other coarse garden tasks, hand pruners to cut stems and branches up to a half-inch in diameter, and a minor pruning saw designed to access tight spaces when pruning trees and shrubs.
5–Test your dirt. Before starting a garden, get a soil test, which can be obtained for a small fee through your local USDA cooperative extension service office. In addition to identifying the proportions of clay, sand, silt, and organic matter in your garden soil, you’ll learn if your pH level is off and whether you have any nutrient deficiencies.
You’ll also receive instructions on how to correct any imbalances. Ask for a test covering toxic substances occasionally found in the soil, such as lead and arsenic. Do not plant edibles in the soil if toxins exceed safe thresholds. Instead, grow food in wooden raised beds with a barrier on the bottom that prevents the roots from getting into the ground below.
6–Make your garden bed. The first step to creating a garden is clearing the existing vegetation. Weeds may be pulled by hand. Just make sure you get the roots so they don’t resprout. Then, you need to prepare your plating space. It’s best not to till unless it’s essential—digging can disrupt life beneath the topsoil (from worms to beetles to bacteria), which is not good.
Instead, try no-till gardening: Once you have removed the debris and grass, spread a thick layer of compost on the growing area (at least four inches thick). If your weeds are particularly stubborn, you can also try sheet mulching or using cardboard to compost weeds while preserving soil structure. It’s best if the beds you create are no more than 4 feet wide to reach the center without stepping onto the soft soil and compacting it, undoing all your hard work.
7–Decide whether to grow from seed or transplant seedlings. Seed starting might save money, but it’s a long process with potential bumps. Some seeds are stubborn about sprouting; others take ages to develop into healthy plants ready for the harsh outdoor world. I always plant directly into the dirt.
Alternatively, you can go to your local nursery to buy young plants grown in a commercial greenhouse. Remember, you don’t necessarily want the most significant plants in the batch, as these are often “root-bound.” With an overgrown thicket of plant roots beneath the soil, these seedlings have outgrown their pots and might not transition well into your garden.
8–Plant your seeds or seedlings with care. When planting seeds, make sure to sow them at the proper depth indicated on the seed packet, tamp the soil firmly over them with the palm of your hand, and water them whenever the soil surface dries out. When planting seedlings, carefully turn the pot over while putting your hand on the soil with the stem between your fingers. Gently squeeze the pot on all sides and shimmy it off.
Grasp the mass of soil in your hands and massage it lightly until the roots are no longer stuck in the shape of the pot. If the plant is root-bound, you’ll have to massage it more vigorously, perhaps even using a knife to loosen the mat of roots.
Finally, use your hands or a small trowel to create a hole in the soil no larger than the root mass. Position the plant, cover the roots with soil (avoiding covering any part of the stem, which is a death sentence for many types of plants), and press it firmly into the earth.
9–Water sufficiently. Typically, plants require about an inch of water per week during the growing season. If there has yet to be rainfall, make sure you’re providing a sufficient amount of water. To eliminate guesswork, an easy way to check if plants are thirsty is to stick your finger two inches deep into the soil. If it feels dry, then it’s most likely time to water. And remember, most plants are better off slightly dry than sopping wet. Too much water can cause harmful root rot. When watering, you aim to make the soil moist but not soggy.
10–Use mulch liberally. By covering the soil with rocks (which can keep the soil moist and warm) and organic matter, weeds have a hard time germinating, and the earth is kept cool and damp. Worms and other beneficial soil creatures love mulch; as it decays, it becomes fuel for the soil food web, just like compost. It’s essential to match the correct type of mulch with each harvest. Wood chips are ideal for fruit trees, shrubs, perennial flowers, and other large, long-lived plants. Dainty vegetables prefer less weighty mulch, such as straw or leaves.
11–Maintain and care for your garden. There is a seasonal rhythm to garden maintenance. Spring is all about keeping the weeds from getting a toehold. Summer requires extra vigilance to keep the garden well-watered. Fall is the season for cutting things back and cleaning up. Throughout the growing season, pay attention to what the plants tell you. A yellow or deformed leaf indicates that you should clip it off. A plant collapsing under its weight is calling out for staking. Dense, overgrown vegetation demands careful pruning to open things up so that sunlight and fresh air can circulate



Inspirational quotes and sayings have a unique ability to change the way we feel about life and can change our thoughts. They are attractive, challenging, and essential on our path to joy and happiness and finding ways to inspire ourselves and others.
Inspirational quotes and ideas give us a quick and timely burst of wisdom to regain our focus, offering the inspiration needed for the day or occasion.
Just as positive words can make someone smile, and a well-timed amusing quote can make someone laugh, your thoughts react to the world in real-time. You have this control! You have complete control over only one thing in the universe—Your Thinking—and that’s where motivational quotes come in!
How you think and feel about yourself, including your beliefs and expectations about what is possible, determines everything in your life, and it all derives from your quality of thinking. Use quotes to move ahead in your life.
To stay motivated, you have to use each day as an opportunity to improve and get closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work—and with your busy schedule—next to impossible. But you can do it! Motivational words, yes, are just words. But they are positive words; they will keep you on track.
Positive and inspiring quotes are like beams of sunshine on a cloudy day. They inject optimism into our thoughts, brighten our mood, and help us focus on the good in life. They remind us that even in the face of adversity, we can see the silver lining and embrace a positive attitude.
In a world filled with challenges and indecisiveness, the power of inspirational quotes cannot be exaggerated. These pearls of wisdom uniquely uplift our spirits, can spark positive change, and fuel our motivation often when we need it most.
“Nourishing a garden will add so much to your life.”
Kit Summers
“I’m an artist.
Gardening is my graffiti.
I grow my art.
Ron Finley
“I may be better for giving serious time, thought, and gardening effort.”
Martha Stewart
“There are few satisfactions greater than the planting of trees.”
Thornton Wilder
“The garden suggests a place where we can meet nature halfway.”
Michael Pollan
“Gardening is the most fabulous tonic and therapy a human can have. Even if you have only a tiny piece of earth, you can create something beautiful, which we all need.”
Audrey Hepburn
“Just for today, till your mental soil with determination, fertilize your emotional soil with positive words, and plant the seed of your heart’s desire with your disciplined efforts.”
Iyanla Vanzant
“How does the Meadow-flower’s bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free.
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold.”
William Wordsworth
“A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
It teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust.”
Gertrude Jekyll
“Gardening is all about optimism.
I put a seed in the ground.
I consistently tend to it with confidence.
I will see the results in time.
Of all the nurture I have provided.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
“Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow.
Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva?
The iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant?
Flora or fauna, we are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors.”
Diane Ackerman
“In the spring, you should smell like dirt at the end of the day.”
Margaret Atwood
“In planting the seeds of most trees.
The best gardeners do no more than follow Nature.
Though they may not know it.”
Henry David Thoreau
“The secret garden bloomed every morning, revealing new miracles.”
Mary Collier
“Your heart is full of fertile seeds waiting to sprout.”
Morihei Ueshiba
“Gardening is full of mistakes.
Almost all of them are pleasant.
Some of them are instructive.
It all turns out right at the last.”
Henry Mitchell
“The garden is growing and changing.
And that means loss.
And constant new treasures to compensate for a few disasters.”
May Sarton
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary.
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells.
And pretty maids all in a row.”
Mother Goose nursery rhyme
“A tree growing out of the ground is as wonderful today as ever.
It does not need to adopt new and startling methods.”
Robert Henri
“Planting trees is a gesture into the future,
a hand held out to other generations.”
Mirabel Osler
“The yard was full of tomato plants about to ripen,
And mint, mint, everything smelling of mint.
And one fine old tree that I loved to sit under and meditate…”
Jack Keroua


Each week goes by so quickly, don’t you think?
It seems like time is going by faster and faster.
You must live joyfully, daily, for each day?
Do you remember what you did last Monday?
Do you remember what you ate for dinner last Sunday?
Keep track of your doings for a few weeks; you will see your time differently.
Remember, the quality of your life depends on what you do each day.
4/27–Saturday, up early (as usual), already working on the next blog. It just came to me this morning: the topic for this week — Gardening — of course. If you have not yet, it’s time to plant your vegetables and flowers.


Lettuce-spinach-swiss chard-cilantro

If you have not had a garden before, this blog will help. I suggest you start growing your food. With the coming changes in the world, it may be necessary. The taste of homegrown food is so fabulous that it will make you quite happy on the first bite of food from your garden. 

See the lovely grasshopper?

Writing this blog makes me “want” to make things happen so I can include them. It also opens my mind to trying things I wouldn’t otherwise try and writing in a way that I usually wouldn’t do. You must try it and see how it opens up your life.
The cicadas keep making their humming sound almost everywhere I go. How long will they continue? I hear that males make a sound to attract a mate. Strangely, it does not attract me sexually in any way. This is happening in many states, there are still people wondering what that humming noise is.     
Something very strange is that I think it might be because of the cicadas; no birds are coming to our feeder. Normally, we have an abundance of winged creatures at our feeder. I can think of no other reason we are not seeing birds.
Beth took me to dinner tonight at It could have been better; we split a cheesesteak sandwich with just some meat on bread and no flavor. If I owned a restaurant, I would ensure each meal was “Excellent” and every guest was pleased. I did not find that here.
We met our friends, Lee Haskins and her husband Frank  Nancy ), and Nancy’s brother, Bob —
The restaurant is situated on a lake, which has a pleasant atmosphere. The band started as we were about to leave—too loud to even talk—not good at all. But the view from the restaurant was lovely. Overall, it was not a very good place to eat, but the views were stunning.
4/28–We both worked on the bathroom, which is looking great. We each liked the very colorful way we made our whole house. From the photos, you will see that we are using a lot of color for the eye. 

The colors will be sharper later

Most houses have a dull base color, and perhaps the moldings are glossy. We chose a different color pattern for each room; we are happy with that. Or, maybe you are pleased to have a drab paint job throughout your home. Oh well… 

How about your house? Is it colored how you want it, and/or, do you live with it that way? You always have a choice, and the cost is negligible to repaint your castle. Yes, the outside of our house is following. Please give us ideas.
How about this: At a garage sale, we found a nicely decorated toilet seat for five bucks. It even matches the theme of our bathroom.
4/29–We have been invaded by puppies! These pups are so cute, too. See the photos? We did a photoshoot with them and posted the pictures. We started with seven and found homes for five so far. So, we have two more pups. How about you, care for a pooch?
Beth bought me a new book, Life Force, by Tony Robbins, and I am enjoying it immensely. This book is about health and living a better life. I think it should be a mandatory read for every person. If you’ve not read it, buy one today! You will be glad you did.
4/30–hmm, what did I do today?
5/1--Today, I went to Costco for my weekly shopping and purchased spectacles to improve my vision.
As you know, lunch included a sampling of various foods they offer customers.
5/2–I did More work on the bathroom. I caulked and sealed the whole floor so no water would leak anywhere. Eventually, we will put in a stand-alone shower and remove the bathtub. Like most homes, the tub is never used, just the shower.
So, right now, all that needs to be done to the bathroom is a floor.
What kind of floor do you have?
Do you have suggestions for us?
For the future, having a stand-alone shower is the corner, as you would find doing this will give us more room. Hmm, now where is that cabinet going to go?
5/3—It’s a cloudy day today. I want to send you current photos of the garden. I hope the photos come out alright.
Gary DuTeau is in town! Every year, he has a five-day campout/party on land he owns by Stevens Creek. It’s so nice to get out in the outdoors and camp. He invites many professional chefs, so we eat well. Gary came by the house today to pick up some firewood. 


You will find out weekly how my garden grows. We have a greenhouse where seeds (mainly tomatoes) are planted and coming up. Tomatoes like warmth, so they will go into the ground later. I will see how things go in the future and let you know. 

The broccoli and cucumbers

There has been plenty of rain this week, so adding more water is unnecessary. I have a rainwater collector that I use to water the garden when it needs it. I also have three rainwater collectors I could use. These are always full; we get enough rain.

Tomatoes — see the trellis I built for support as they grow? 

Do you have a rainwater collector yet?
It may be necessary for your future.
The price has gone way down.
Take a look >>

Go from your rainwater gutters and direct the downspout pipes to feed into your rainwater collector.  Have a screen on your container to filter out leaves and debris. I built a stand and put my collectors five feet up so that gravity could release water from a hose.
I have two 100-gallon collectors, one 50-gallon rainwater collector, and a tote that holds 375 gallons. Eventually, I want to get another 375-gallon tote to hold water. We plan on filtering the rainwater to drink it. Are you thirsty?
A self-supportive life can be a better life.
A garden would be a part of that life.
You must look into it.
If you haven’t yet, start your garden.
You know the steps you need to take; get it going.
Your efforts will make you very happy. 


The upcoming week I will be with Gary at his paradise.
We will eat well and party hardy.
You will learn next week. 



1 Comment

  1. Larry Z May 3, 2024 Reply

    Spectacular blog! You should write a book! I garden everyday but it’s.almost all water-saving succulents!

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