We wanted to practice gardening before trying it on a larger scale in Custer.  We don’t even know if we can grow anything there, the season will be pretty short so we may need a greenhouse or something similar.

This summer was our second year with a garden, it’s pretty small, just an 8’x16′ raised bed.  We found railroad ties on Craig’s List that were pretty cheap and then had about 3 yards of mushroom compost mixed with topsoil delivered.  The soil is very good for growing vegetables although this year we had a very hot June and July so far.  The heat was really tough on our tomato plants but we were able to can several pints before the plants died from the high heat.

This year we planted:

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Pickling Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes

We didn’t have very good luck with the corn, beets and carrots.  We think we planted the beets and carrots too close together and the corn was eaten by the dang squirrels!

Learning to can was fun and this is something we will definitely continue on a larger scale when we move to Custer.  We appreciate all the help from our family teaching us how to can vegetables.

Fence material from Lowe’s to build tomato cagesIMG_1278
Rolled out flat so I can cut in 75″ sections
I used zip ties to connect the ends

The first year we used tomato cages from Walmart, they were pretty expensive and not very sturdy.  This year, I tried something different.  The fence from Lowe’s was not very expensive and made 8 cages.  At the end of the season I will cut the zip ties so I can store the cages flat and will be easier to move.

Yukon potatoes were the first thing we planted this year
Yukon potatoes were the first thing we planted this year


Tomato Plants
Tomato Plants
Early in the season
Early in the season


Ready for canning


IMG_1609 Prep for Bread and Butter Pickles

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