Lessons I didn't learn about gardening etc

Does anyone else wish they had been paying more attention when their Daddy was showing them how to install a pole green bean trellis. The trellis don’t look so good but maybe the beans won’t care. My mother cooked the best fried chicken and I have tried several times but haven’t even gotten close to hers. Thank goodness Publix’s has a decent fried chicken.


My dad encouraged gardening food but did not really teach it very well. He planted food like butternut squash, pumpkins and zucchini and we planted it with him but we never watered it. I think he had a water system that watered it. He planted an orchard of many different trees like I did but I never remember him watering them, spraying them or getting fruit from them. My mother and grandmother were into flower gardening and I never got too into that. My mother showed me how to make a trellis out of twine and stakes like you did though. That helps in some situations but my approach to gardening is different than my mothers. My mother’s theory is water 2 times a week and spray her trees during summer. My approach is buy trees spray a dormant spray during winter and water once a week in Spring through fall. It’s ironic because I used to water more than her but I have limited my watering to as little as possible now.



My family instructed me to not water until i saw signs the plant needed it. Everything they did was need based which is a very different approach than how other people learn. Once i asked my mom why dont i water the plant. Surprised at my question she said how many plants and trees out there get watered, i said none. She said that is how much your trees should be watered unless they need it to survive. She wanted the plants to have deep roots. Once i understood her strategy things got easier. Throw something like news paper to act like a sponge to hold the water in the bottom of the hole. Other people taught me to build a dirt dam around the pear tree like a bucket to hold water. Some farmers pull weeds or cut branches to use at the base of a tree or plant to hold water. People might use carpet , woodchips, hay, cardboard etc. At the base of the tree to hold water and reduce weeds. Everyone has a strategy that works for them. Sometimes i combine other peoples strategies. My mom does things based on weather. If she saw it was wet we would plant trees or big gardens. This is a dry year which means i don’t plant. She might grow very little that she had enough water to take care of. Last year my mom watered the garden a lot out of a tank i caught 2500 gallons of water in. She knows that vegetables water correlates to food and more water makes more food. Because we had extra water we had extra food. She does not see it that way with fruit or melons etc.as it ripens. She knows water ruins the flavor.


My mother was the gardener, my father used the tractor to prepare the ground and plow the field of cotton behind the house. I ran the tiller from the time I was 10 years old. We grew enough food to make a big dent in the amount spent on groceries. It was usually about 1/4 acre or a tad larger.

I learned more gardening on my own than my mother taught me. She did not know how to grow onions from seed. I do. She used poles to trellis beans. I use 8 foot t-posts with wire top and bottom and hay twine zigzagged between the wires. Big hint, put the bottom wire between 12 and 16 inches above the ground. The beans will need a bit of encouraging, but once they get on the twine, they will grow very rapidly. Why so high? Because you need to weed the beans and a hoe or weeding fork will fit under the wire.

I read about “master gardeners” who were trained by the extension service. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with several of them. They were almost clueless about many serious gardening subjects. None could give a good answer about effective use of dust mulch (from regular tilling and weeding). None knew what to do about squash vine borers. Speaking of which, it is time to start some squash seed. Cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, and other members of the curcurbit family need to be set out or planted before the end of April.


Both of my parents never gardened. I read books about gardening instead. In fact, in my intermediate family, nobody gardens seriously until a few years ago, one of my brothers finally did.


Master gardeners are typically taught about flowers and plants similar to your area most grow. My master gardeners at the extensions can tell me all about apples, pears, peaches, cherries but that uncommon stuff they don’t have as much information on. I have asked questions to CSU only to be directed onward.


My parents did not garden… my grandparents on my dads side did not garden… but my grandfather on my dads side was a wealthy man… lawyer/judge… owned lots of land including a large acerage farm with tennant house… he basically had someone gardening for him and just drove by the farm occasionally and got plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.

My grandparents on my moms side did garden… but my grandfather on moms side died when i was 4. My grandmother on moms side continued to garden with the help of one of her sons (my uncle Joe) who lived near her home.

They grew a big garden until I was freshman in highscool… when my grandmother passed.

She started her own tomatoes from seed she saved each year… it was a big pink tomato. One spring she gave me some tomato plants and some basic instructions on how to plant them.
I started gardening at around 15 and continued on and off thru highschool… then stopped until I got married and owned some land myself… and started back gardening… that was around 1990… and i grew a big garden… and have continued since then.

Very little of what i know about gardening came from family… lots came from trial and error… lots came from watching tv series… like “gardening naturally” and volunteer gardner… and later on youtube…


One of my sisters worked as a horticulturist when i was growing up. She went to school for that. She taught me lots of things. She worked for a couple of different greenhouses and could speak spanish. That gave her the ability to know ag methods not commonly known at that time. Migrants would teach her things about agriculture and she could communicate to the boss if they requested something. My uncles were professional orchardist. My grandfather grew hundreds of fruit and nut trees. He spent lots of time teaching me things. Everyone in my family has some connections to farming. We all grow things like fruit trees , gardens etc. We always did.


I would argue Master Gardener and horticulturist are different. Master Gardener is a certification while the other is a degree. It’s like the problem with permaculture certificates. It sounds great to get one but if you hang around forums like this and grow a lot of different species you learn more than a Master Gardener would know or more than a person giving a permaculture certificate would know. A person going through a 4 year course will likely learn about most plants as they could be propagating any kind of plant for example. I was hired as a gardener at an amusement park. Before I left Home Depot they were planning to put me in their garden department “as it worked with my skillset better than other departments”. It is possible to get jobs at amusement parks, nursery or big box stores without any certifications or degrees. Breeding and propagation is when they start wanting certifications and degrees but that is also where all the money is at.


The Vitctory garden by Crockett was what I watched in the 80s when I was in Boston living in an apartment. I bought many of his books and learned how to garden.


Our Master Gardener program was worthwhile but ultimately left me knowing that there’s a lot more that I don’t know than there is that I do. For that it was useful. Our main purpose was to help the extension agent answer routine questions, and often it was just to direct people to use one product or another.

We went on field trips and had some very well qualified professionals give us great lectures and explanations, but really, it was just an introduction. You might learn a few tidbits about apical dominance and thinning, but does that make you a pruner? Ha!


dad planted and grew the garden with us kids assisting. we all harvested and helped process. mom canned , blanched everything. 100 broilers were raised every spring . the extended family helped in the butcher and each one went home with 10 of them as payment. mom made a big feed to keep everyone content and lots of homemade ice tea was drank as well as beer for the aunts and uncles. great memories.


@SoCalGardenNut … yep … I watched that one too…Victory Garden.

I have first grand baby coming up early July.

A little girl. I read her a story last night… brown bear brown bear what do you see…

I will have to make sure she gets the gardening bug.


Congrats on your coming granddaughter. I hope she takes after you when it comes to gardening.

Interesting, I read your post about your grandfather, very similar to my grandmother on my dad’s side, she also owned a lot of land, she rent them out for people to farm.


Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins mostly all had gardens when I was young. Some family do today but probably less.

Good topic to post this in, not the way my family taught me to sow corn :slight_smile:


A neighbor down the street had a large garden and some fruit trees that I was intrigued by as a kid. My parents planted two apple trees that got neglected for 20+ years, one’s gone, the other’s on its way out. We got a handful of (probably very underripe) sour apples from them like twice. We planted a small veggie garden once or twice. I remember getting bolted broccoli, inedible corn (pretty blue flowers?), and some cherry tomatoes. I tried growing cherry tomatoes in the backyard a few years ago and squirrels ate both of the fruit. I started growing my own veggies three or four years ago, planted some berries last year (and an apple tree), and a whole bunch more berries and a dozen trees this year. I learned most of what I know now from Internet sources.

My mom gave me some really old booklets and, aside from never having heard of the varieties they mention/suggest, a lot of the advice is still the same.
edit: I don’t know why the guy on the right is challenging a Peach Tree to a duel. Things were different back then.


my daughter had my 1st as well, 2 months ago. little Annalise is already trying to make words when you talk to her. little coos and funny faces are all that she manages but she’s trying real hard. :wink:


Congratulations @steveb4 … you beat me to it.

You got a grandpa name picked out yet?

My dads grandkids all called him “Pop”… and my mom was called Granny. Granny and Pop.

I may end up being a Pop as well.

We will probably end up being what ever the first one can say well.

My Grandmother on my dads side… wanted to be called Mama Elise… and the first grandkid (my oldest sister) called her Meacy… and that is what we all called her.


we’re of French background so pepere is grandfather. memere is grandmother. pronounced pepaye and memaye with a French drawl. :wink:


I’m in the camp, don’t call me grandma, it makes me sound old, lol. I’ll borrow the French term for grandma, sound much better.

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