Friday, 16 April 2021 13:20

COLUMN: Managing my garden Part I

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COLUMN: Managing my garden Part I J.A. Bolton

Come spring, I always like to plant myself several gardens. At my house, the only place I have to plant my garden is on the sides of two steep hills behind the house.

In a dry spring, my garden won’t produce much because I don’t have enough water pressure to reach up the hill. 

I have a friend who lives up in the mountains who always has the prettiest garden. I called and told him about the problems I was having with my garden and did he have any suggestions. 

He said, “It’s all in the way you place the plants in your garden. First, you plant your onions at the very top of the hill. Then you plant your taters right below them and then whatever else below them.” 

I asked him, “Why in that order?” 

He said, “In a dry year, those onions will get really strong and put off a real bad odor. This bad odor will cause the eyes on them taters to start weeping. Therefore, the water will run down the hill and water the rest of your garden.” 

And folks, by golly, it worked!

On the other hill is where I plant my corn. That hill is so steep I have to use a shotgun to plant it with. Why, the first year I planted corn on that hill, I didn’t get a good stand, so I figured the barrel on that old Sears and Roebuck shotgun was too short. I just went out to the outhouse and got the phone number out of the Sears catalog.

I called and got to talk with a young lady and told her my problem and that I needed a longer barrel for my shotgun. She must have had to think on that for a while. Why, she put me on hold for 10 minutes.

 When she finally came back on the phone, she was kinda laughing but she recommended that I order one of their long goose barrels with a poly choke on the end. Well, I told her right quick that I didn’t have time to get that poly choke thing all the way from France, but she explained that it was made right here in the good old U.S.A. 

She went on to say, “You can adjust the choke to get whatever pattern you want, or in your case, how much corn you wanted to plant. Well, I told her to send me two of them rascals right away cause I needed to get my corn planted. 

In a week, I had them barrels and set right in to planting my corn. Why, I loaded one end of that gun with five three-inch magnum shells and the other end with two pounds of Silver Queen corn. Then I commenced to shooting that corn up the hill. Folks, I ran through a half a box of shotgun shells and about 20 pounds of corn but, from then on, I had a good stand of corn.

Well, I used to work my garden with a mule and a Dixie plow. I made the mistake of loaning my mule to my neighbor who happened to be the local moonshiner. He just happened to ride my mule to his still the night the Revenuers raided it. 

Now my neighbor is in prison, his ‘shine is the property of the state, and my mule is in Washington. You ask me how that mule ended up in Washington? Why, some of them local politicians put his name in the hat for the U.S. Congress and I’ll be doggone if he didn’t win! Now, if’n you ask me, he will fit right in with some of the other jackasses in Washington!

To be continued next week.

J.A. Bolton is author of “Just Passing Time,” co-author of “Just Passing Time Together, “and just released his new book “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories,” all of which can be purchased on Amazon. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..