December Gardening in Wisconsin!

Life on the Farm in Winter when I was young.

Well, you can order seed & nursery catalogs for free even during a Wisconsin winter and plan your garden.  I limit myself to Guerney’s Seed & Nursery Seed catalog because I have determined that their plants are simply of superior quality and have a better guaranty than other companies.  They are a little high priced but I always wait for their half price or flash sales before I order.  That doesn’t prevent me from looking over their catalog at any time and planning my garden for the spring.  I particularly like their native and unusual fruit plants even if I don’t have the money to buy everything I like.  The sweet cherry bushes I got from them are an excellent example of the good quality of their plants. They seem to survive almost anything.

I suppose I could grow some houseplants but there are two basic problems with doing that in my house.  My cat will automatically destroy any plant he can reach so the plants must be isolated from him.  Secondly my wife claims that any type of houseplant immediately causes allergic reactions to everyone in the house and plants attract insects.  My plan to overcome these difficulties is to eventually use an upstairs room for future massive plant production in secret where my wife and the cat can’t get at them.  The cat can be locked out and my wife doesn’t normally go upstairs because of her titanium hip bones.  I can always claim that I planted the house plants while sleep walking if she ever finds them while she is reconnoitering upstairs.


Cucumbers with Folding Trellis

Cucumber Garden in Wisconsin
Cucumber garden in Wisconsin with simple folding trellis.

This is my raised bed garden with a portable trellis made from scrounged materials.  My old neighbors gave me the planks for the raised bed.  The folding portable trellis is made from our old broken recycled box spring that served us well.  We got a bunch of cucumbers to eat this year which supplemented our grocery purchases nicely.  The pretty little squirrels and sneaky raccoons didn’t seem to bother the cucumbers.  I planted a variety that had some small little spikes sticking out of them so that may have discouraged the rodents from making a meal out of our food this year.  The longer smooth variety I planted last year was gobbled up pretty fast by some little animal at night.

I plan to increase our garden with perennial veggies and small fruits.  Anything I only need to plant once and that will come back year after year is a long term work saver.  It is much easier to plant a small Carmine Jewel Cherry Bush than to plant annual veggies.  I have some difficulty doing the work for a garden put given years of future continued persistence I should be able to transform our back yard into a mini-farm designed to provide us with some well needed  healthy food.

We had a gigantic garden on my childhood farm however we also had tractors, plows, cultivators, planters and plenty of free cow manure.  I don’t have access to all this wonderful stuff anymore and my physical capabilities have deteriorated.  Composted cow manure is great stuff for city gardens but it costs money.  My father would have got a great chuckle out of seeing me pay for a bag of composted cow manure.

My goal in gardening is to provide some good tasting fruits and veggies at the most minimal cost of money and work possible.  It is also a relaxing hobby.


My Best Garden in Wisconsin
My Best Garden. Garden decoration.

Pinterest  to be Linked to Glenn’s Way blog

I plan to upgrade my Pinterest  social media account to include some of my gardening ideas and other interests that I have. There are ways to more completely link Pinterest  to my blog. Some day I plan to sell succulent plants along with crafted bottle planters and display them on my social media accounts. Definitely not a get rich quick scheme but I enjoy doing it and I might make a few pesos. First I need my dependents to become more self sufficient so I have a little time to implement my plan. Second I plan to have the giant lump on my back surgically removed before I get to old to be operated on. Every time I schedule this surgical procedure something interferes with it. Maybe I am just destined to keep my grapefruit sized back bulge.

I see succulent plants, herbs and sophisticated bottle planters for my future provided God is willing. I like gardening but currently I just don’t have the time to do anything good because I am usually too ill or taking care of other people/problems. I definitely need to spruce up our yard before I try to pass myself off as a gardener or no one will buy. We have a nice alcove type window for indoor plants which might be a future option. Unfortunately gigantic trees shade the windows so some supplemental light will be needed. Also, my wife is opposed to any type of plants in the house because she is worried about insects and allergies. Hopefully I can convert her to indoor succulent plants because they seem to be a cleaner type of plant and are easy to use in decorating. Herbs are also an option but you need to be careful if you start selling any type of consumable that people eat. You never know about allergic reactions or some crazy person with an attitude. 

Might also sell any excess fruit we have from the native fruits I planted when we got here. People seem to like cherries, jostaberries and gooseberries. The invading Japanese beetles don’t seem to like the foliage on these plants. These plants could also be propagated and sold as starter plants.

All these enterprises may result in enough cash that I could afford streaming TV someday.

Glenn’s Garden 2017 in March

Garden Early Spring 2017

This is the beginnings of my garden for the next thirty years or so.  The two bushes in the black smart pots are a Carmine Jewel Cherry and a Romeo Cherry.  I like these cherry bushes because they are almost indestructible and good into zone 2b.  I had one of them outside on a balcony in Milwaukee for several years and it wasn’t damaged in any way.  I even got some cherries while it was on the balcony.  They taste like sweet cherries rather than the tart cherries that typically grow in this area. I had to trim it severely when I moved to Hartford because it just would not fit in my car which almost caused me to weep a little.  I didn’t own a branch trimmer that was big enough and I was in a hurry so I just used a large bolt cutter that was available at the time.

We had a 60 mph windstorm recently which caused a lot of tree branches to drop everywhere as you can see in the above picture.  I don’t stand out there when its windy and I advise other people to avoid it also because the high branches like to come down on your head.  Its almost impossible to get at the high tree branches to trim them without some type of mechanical lift which I can’t afford.  I do have a special 27 foot tall manual pole saw but I haven’t been well enough to operate it.  It requires continuous muscle exertion for long periods of time but I think I may be able to get some help  eventually.  The trees would require a professional tree trimmer to cut them down because they are too close to buildings.

The bushes and small trees I planted are all surrounded with black plastic hardware cloth to protect them from rabbits and squirrels.  It seems to be effective protection.  When one of the bushes was exposed by accident the rabbits chewed it down to little nubs.

I concentrated my initial efforts on smaller seedling fruit bushes and nut trees because of the cheap price and the minimum effort involved in planting.  I always order everything from Gurney’s Seed and Nursery during the last minute sales because those sale prices are unbeatable, they offer a money back guaranty and deliver to my front door.  I planted Manchurian apricots, Honey berries, Grapes, Hazel nuts, raspberries, Cherry Bushes and Josta berries.  Everything survived the winter which I thought was impressive.

Eventually I plan to put some good soil in my raised bed garden and grow some veggies.  There is a place near Hartford that gives away free composted horse manure but my wife always starts looking for divorce lawyers every time I mention it.  I am too short on cash to buy soil but eventually I will simply make enough compost to fill this bed up one way or another.

I also plan to grow some succulents for my garden bottle hobby and for sale.  I have another small raised bed for that purpose.  We will see what I get done this year because its usually less than what my plans are in spring.

Carmine Jewel Cherry Bush trimmed severely