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Christayla's OK Garden

My back yard was illegally poisoned, so my husband's grandparent's asked if we would help them with one this summer.

I also have pots going at my own home, which I'll try to get a picture of and update this later, when I'm not sick.

Videos of the space behind the empty houses on my husband's grandparent's property.

We tilled it and put down humus and manure. We're going to fence it and add plants.


  • Thanks for checking, Nicky! We will get with our DEQ or our USDA office to see if they would test for it. It killed Ben's pumpkin patch off. The pumpkins didn't get very big at all and they have begun rotting super fast.

    The food/medicine audit part of the webinar made me think. I'd love to grow raspberry bushes next year! Would I be able to start them in pots?

    I also scanned in our garden plans and I'm sharing them here as PDF's.

  • edited September 1

    OK I emailed OSU about the soil test :)

    And here is their reply:

    "We don’t test for contamination from chemicals. We can test if they have been contaminated with salt water. You might try Oklahoma DEQ or an environmental testing lab.




  • edited September 1


    I'm sorry to have to ask you this but your photo of your sketch is coming up as very blurry so that I cannot screen share it properly. Would it be possible for you to send me a higher res photo with details such as:

    • Microclimates
    • Soggy/Wet vs. Dry
    • Cold & Warm
    • Sunny & Shady
    • and clarify the Access
    • Where does the water flow in your garden
    • Any other observations such as weeds, or soil readings.

    On Soil

    Since you know that your soil has been sprayed, I think it would still be good to know the extent of that contamination.

    OSU's website shows that you can test for contaminated soils HERE!

  • @Christayla Vassar , HERE is your Plant List all laid out so you can check for diversity.

    Feel free to use this each season.

  • Here is my updated garden sketch. It's only of the garden area.

    Nicky Schauder
  • edited August 27

    Zoom Check-In

    WINS: harvesting fairytale eggplant, sungold tomatoes, cantelope, sweet potatoes have lots of leaves, pea

    volunteer cherry tomatoes


    Keep Suzi in the pot until the weather turns a little colder and the lemon ripens

    Maybe start some peas both direct sow into the ground and one in a pot

    Fava beans - cold-weather crop

    Plant List

    • carrots
    • turnips
    • beets
    • peas
    • lettuce
    • Tokyo Bekana - napa-type loose-leaf cabbage
    • cilantro

    Garden Goal:

    • Upload a new sketch for the fall garden
    • Taking care of the ginger
  • The grasshoppers, squash bugs, green shield bugs, and hot temperatures are here and a lot of the garden is done for the year. For some reason the pumpkins in my sons patch started to die off as soon as I harvested my first one. It won't be long until that entire patch is dead.

    The sun gold tomatoes had a huge horn worm and the grasshoppers got to them and stripped their leaves.

    And the rest of the garden:

    Purple/Red Asian Long Beans, Butternut squash, and acorn squash up against the playhouse.

    My second planting experiment of potatoes look like they are thriving in the buckets! Also a pepper at the end.

    Eggplants and marigolds which are dying off.

    My volunteer pumpkin and some of my strawberries, Suzi the lemon tree, and garlic.

    Another pumpkin picture.

    The dying garden.

    These are several 8-9 ft tall lambs quarters plants. I don't know what the soil is like right there but they must love it! They are currently going to seed.

  • Fingers crossed, our first lemon is coming up from Suzi, our Meyer lemon tree.

    Why is the tree named Suzi? After my great grandma, who's nickname was Suzi. She had a huge, beautiful lemon tree on her enclosed patio.

    As you know if you've ever spent any time around lemon blossoms, the fragrance on her patio when that tree would bloom was intoxicating. That tree would also produce some of the biggest lemons I've ever encountered. Super yummy for the lemonade we used to make together!

    My husband wanted to get me a lemon tree like hers to honor her this spring when he saw it at our local Ace Hardware. He's the best. <3

  • RE: PeasAbsolutely!!! And pics of your potatoes and cantaloupe harvest!!!! So super excited for you! You and Ryland are doing this garden thing @Christayla Vassar

  • @Nicky Schauder Can I plant peas (sweet peas or sugar snap I think is what I have) with my sweet potato I'm going to plant?

    I have dug up all my potatoes! It's the end of the season for them, and I'll be planting my second planting in buckets this weekend! I'm guessing we got 3 lbs since our scale broke.

    I also plant on getting my beets, carrots, and radishes this weekend.

    My cantaloupe has some little baby cantaloupes on it and so does my squash! I'm so excited.

  • Check-In

    WINS: Everything grew and harvested some things like:

    • potatoes
    • tomatoes
    • basil
    • marigolds
    • turnips & garbanzo beans
    • lemon tree (need to repot) starting to fruit
    • eggplant fruiting
    • lettuce
    • cabbage kinda died due to worms
    • Zucchini or Armenia cukes growing
    • Butternut squash
    • Cantelope
    • Onions
    • Dill


    • Strawberries - can I root runners? Yes!
    • Can I put Sweet potatoes in my potato bed?

    Just take out the slips and stick them in the soil and see if you can get them to root and produce leaves. The leaves are very nutritious

    Still want:

    • beets
    • radishes
    • carrots

    Garden Goal:

    • Plant the organic potatoes in 5-gallon buckets
    • See if you have seeds for the root crops you want to grow

  • @Nicky Schauder I don't need anymore pumpkins. As you can see in the pictures in the last post, pumpkins are taking over both gardens! I do wish I had room for Seminole pumpkins, but not here. Maybe next year when we've moved!

    I'm getting organic potatoes this weekend at my moms! They have eyes she says. I have 5 gallon buckets to plant them in. I just need to get soil.

    I plan on sowing carrots, radishes, and probably beets when we get back from the appointments in the city.

  • Here are updated pictures of my garden.

    I've been harvesting:

    Harvested 5 potatoes from one plant

    Loads of little delicious orange tomatoes



    Here are also pictures from my husband's grandparents garden yields. Romas, beefsteak, and some wild sandplums (not from their garden). They also have been getting cucumbers like crazy! And some zuchinni. Some of their beefsteak tomatoes are over 3lbs!

  • @Christayla Vassar

    RE: Potatoes. Dave says, you can start them now. The thing with potatoes is that they can't really hack the cold. So the sooner you start them the better. And the bigger the bucket/pot (some folks use a full-sized trashcan) the better your yield will be.

    RE: Pumpkins. Yes! Start them now, but not Seminole that needs a lot of room to grow. You can do melons and pumpkins that are small since they are not going to be grown in-ground (unless you do so in your parent's place).

    Hope that helps!

  • @Christayla Vassar

    Congratulations on your garden wins this month! Totally, God is taking care of you and your family!


    You asked, "I'm trying to decide whether I'll plant radishes and carrots now or wait since it's starting to get hot."

    Hold off until mid-July for those or they will flower right away and won't grow nice and plump roots.

    Yes, please take pictures so we can help you ID any plants or bugs. This is what the forums are for.

    I'm so sorry I missed our meeting today. That is not usually me. We're in a transition here from school to summer so it's a little crazy.

    Thank you for posting and updating us on your garden!


  • edited June 9

    Yesterday an older acquaintance of mine invited me to have some of her flowers and vegetable plants she's growing, as she doesn't have enough space and energy to take care of them.

    She gave me:

    Spiderwort (it's a medicinal herb!)

    Phlox (I think is what she called it)


    Acorn Squash

    Butternut squash

    A hot pepper (Lipstick?)

    A beefsteak tomato

    A bean plant

    And she's going to give me oriental lillies once she has some more ready to go. (I'm SO EXCITED!)

    I'm also starting seeds for:

    Beefsteak tomatoes

    Asparagus Beans


    Yellow Wax Beans


    and Sugar Snap Peas

    I'm trying to decide whether I'll plant radishes and carrots now or wait since it's starting to get hot.

    I ALSO FOUND 2 DILL VOLUNTEERS GROWING IN THE GARDEN! I found two more pumpkins growing up in the grass and maybe a watermelon? I'm not sure. The leaves look right but it's also spiky.

    Apparently there is a garden club in our town as well, so I may try to attend that next month. My acquaintance told me that they like to trade and give away plants. :D

    I need to get some pictures of the garden and post them!

  • @Christayla Vassar , going through the GIY course again, I actually realized that there is a video embedded in the course about making an A-Frame. So hopefully, you can also check that out, if you haven't already. Good luck!

  • edited May 21

    Zoom Check-IN

    WINS: Everything in your pots is growing!!!! Strawberries ready to harvest, onions flowering, potatoes growing

    Ruth Stout Method - Growing Potatoes

    A-Frame Plumb Bob learning topography

    Herb gardens - garlic & paprika

    Garden Goal:

    Pot for herbs and herb seeds

    • lemon balm
    • parsley
    • dill
    • garlic
    • paprika

  • Pictures taken by my wonderful husband <3

    Potatoes (and a volunteer lettuce outside the bed)

    Cabbage, turnip, lettuce, green onions, strawberries, eggplant, marigolds, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and lemon tree.

    Tomatoes, marigolds, lemon tree, garbanzo beans, and eggplants.

    Garden bed with green onions and peppermint, as well as garlic (in pots), volunteer lettuces, volunteer squash (I think!), and onions planted.

  • Since I'm so sick with morning sickness, I haven't been out to my grandparent-in-law's garden since I took those last pictures. So, I'm doing what I can with what I have. This is my new garden, my design of what I currently have. I'm not sure if I'm going to add anything else this year or not. Maybe some sweet potatoes! Or even collards. They had a bunch at Atwoods.

    New plant list:




    Volunteer Lettuces

    Volunteer Squash plant

    Green onions (3rd year running! They have flowered this year and last but never died!)


    2 Eggplants

    2 Tomatoes

    2 Cabbages




    Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)


    Lemon Tree

    Also, not pictured, my son has a little patch beside his playhouse that has pumpkins and a sunflower growing.

  • Zoom Check-In


    Got a nice space to grow food in


    For your beds, we suggest marking off with sticks or stones to designate the growing spaces, even if you don't do a raised bed

    Innoculate with mycorrhizal + cover crop (clover, alfalfa)

    Plant List


    2 cabbages in 1 container

    Other Plants

    • Tomatoes
    • Peppers
    • Cucumbers
    • Okra
    • Zucchini
    • Asparagus Beans

    Cool Weather

    • Onions
    • Radishes
    • Carrots

    Fertilizing the Soil Naturally

    • Eggshells
    • Banana peels cut up
    • Coffee Grounds
    • Inncoulate with mycorrhizal fungi or compost


    • Measure and create and upload your garden plan/sketch
    • Start the Choosing Your Plants Module - learn how to diversify your growing & make sure that your plants are not all heavy-feeders, but a good mix of plants that need
  • Thanks so much for this @Christayla Vassar ! This is a HUGE space to work with so I'm so excited for what you can grow here.

    If you can manage to do so before the call...

    1. First make a list of the things that you like to eat and note how much of that crop you consume each week.

    That would be your crop list.

    2. Work back from your consumption for each crop. Use this chart to determine how much of each plant you need to grow. Even if you have a small space, you'd be surprised how much you can grow. This is featured in the Choosing Your Plants module in the Core Course

    In terms of planning your space, have you taken the Design Course module yet?

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