With the busy Fourth of July holiday last weekend, I sort of neglected my gardening and yard work duties. Our vegetable patch in the backyard looks like a small, messy jungle where you might find some miniature civilizations. Which I kind of did when I finally got around to the weeding.

Jungle garden

As you can see, not that much space to work with but we make do with what we have. Our little black fence has seen better days, but it was left by the owners of the house and we make do with what we have.

Anywho… You can’t tell from the picture, besides the Creeping Charlie (or ground-ivy if you want to be technical) doing what it does best… creep, there were weeds all over the place. Not to mention all the hickory nuts that fall like heavy green boulders from the trees. You can hear them smacking the roof of our neighbor’s garage and I’m not kidding, it startles you.

So after all the rain we got this week, which we needed, the plants were very happy. So were the weeds. My assistant (my daughter, Finnley) and I set to work to tame our small ecosystem and give our little garden what it needs, so much needed care.

Eye spy a moose dog by the door.

It’s nice when my assistant starts working when I didn’t even ask! There are many more weeds around our little rental house just like this strip. There was at one time some ground cloth with rocks that prevented the weeds from sprouting but over time, dirt gets underneath the rocks and BAM, plants start growing.


Our trellis is a nice cheap wooden one that we got from a hardware store last year on sale. I love it because it’s a two sided trellis so I can maximize the small space and grow more things vertically. The issue is the space between the wooden bars is pretty big for baby plants to climb. Our beans are lost and the cucumbers are placing their tendrils where they don’t belong, such as the dill plant. Which was not too excited to have a cling on.

I decided to use some old twine that I had laying around the house from our Christmas tree and get creative.

Assistant, hard at work.

With my assistant’s help, I tied the twine on the first bar and weaved it around the other bars until I got to the other side. We continued this on the next square up and on the other side to help the cucumbers that I growing on that side. If you don’t have twine, you can use rope or another kind of thick string. I wouldn’t use yarn or thread because your material has to be able to stand up to weather and many waterings. I personally like the twine because it offers multiple options for the plants and has a nice grippy texture.

Bean plants need a lot of options for climbing on, otherwise they will tie themselves into a lovely knot and fall over into the other plants. Not fun. We are hoping to get a nice harvest this year so we can try canning. My grandparents used to can all their vegetables for the winter from their garden and I’ve always admired this skill. IMG_7416

With just a little guidance, the beans will now have a nice place to climb up and the cucumbers can now stop attempting the strangle the life out of the poor dill plant.

Now that our garden is nice and happy, the next step will be the REST of the fun little weed patches and the mowing. Ugh. Happy gardening!

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