Garden Tips – Be Patient and Observe

This garden tip can increase your over all harvest by 5% or more.  In some years you’ll get 100% of what you would have without doing it.

The only things you need to do are be patient and observe what you have.

Here are some examples:


The normal state of affairs.

I have 6 bushes.  I harvest everyday from about the first week in June through the middle of July.  In addition to fresh eating and pies during the season, I like to have at least 12 to 16 quarts for the freezer.

When January comes and my supply of almost everything from the garden is dwindling,  I depend on those berries. For at least 60 of the dark days of winter, I have a tiny blueberry pie to lift our spirits and encourage us to plan for spring.

Frozen blueberries for a very small pie.

How the tip comes into play.

Because, I want the berries for the winter, I limit our number of  in-season pies.

By July I am harvesting various vegetables in the garden everyday.  I always continue to check the blueberry bushes (in the garden), although at first glance it looks as if there is nothing on the bush.

For the next 30 days after the berry season is over I manage to get at least 10 small blueberry pies by collecting a handful of berries everyday. (Takes about 5  minutes or less.)

This is an increase of about 8% of the part of my yield that is allotted to fresh eating and pies in season!  When you love blueberries as much as we do ——-it’s a welcomed increase!

It's tiny --- but it really hits the spot!

Green beans

The normal state of affairs.

There is nothing like fresh green beans from the garden. (I think they loose flavor when canned and the texture change of frozen beans is not to our liking except in soups.)  From May through September I make 5 small plantings to have them continuously for fresh eating and a few pints of frozen for soup. They produce well and I harvest every other day.

How the tip comes into play.

This year I planted 5 times.  The first 3 plantings did not germinate because of extreme drought. The 4th and 5th plantings germinated.  They grew a bit. Then sat there and sat there.  I had a great desire to pull them up — but I know better from past experience.

Then the rain came the first of October.  I had a handful of beans on the 4th planting and blossoms on the 5th planting immediately after the rain. We’ve had about 3 meals from the 4th planting and I feel sure the best is yet to come.

Handful of steamed green beans with melting butter.

Lettuce or greens for salads and lunch.

The normal state of affairs.

If you are a regular reader, you know I love lettuce. I hate being limited in what I can pick, so most of the time I have lots of it.

How the tip comes into play.

I start my lettuce in flats and then transplant to the garden.  Some years in the fall — this year being one of them — I have trouble with something (I think grasshoppers or crickets) eating my seedlings. (No slugs in the beds because it’s been so dry.)

In spite of this, I have managed to come up with enough greens for our lunch everyday.

My "here-a-little, there-a-little" harvest.

The few beets that remained in the ground through the summer are providing a leaf or two each day. They looked so awful during the summer and I knew the beets would not be good, but left them just for this reason.

The new stir-fry mix of greens I planted in the spring reseeded one little plant. It provides another leaf or two.

A few lettuce plants managed to reseed in a place that was suited to germination and they two have offered a leaf or two.

A few young radish greens add to the mix.

And of course, there is arugula which reseeds itself and delights me every year.

Bottom line commentary.

If you’ve lived a while, you know it’s amazing what you can accomplish in small amounts of time if you work at it consistently.  If you try to eat organically from your garden, the same “here a little, there a little” principle applies.

I try never to underestimate the power of a little.  Those little bits can add a great deal of joy to life.


  • Theresa,
    I have to agree COMPLETELY! My second planting of snaps survived but just sat there and sat there as you described. Then before my loofa gourds took them over in September, I decided to collect the few beans that I could see at a glance just to give to my rabbits. I ended up picking several times – each time was about 3 or 4 cups!! And each time I thought I would only get a handful at best.

    I have learned over the years that picking stimulates more growth – even in adverse weather conditions. But this even surprised me! I am always amazed at the abundance God provides when we look closely.

    I also have been picking what seems like a leaf here and a leaf there since mid summer only to find that I have had an abundance to use fresh and to dry for the winter. Specifically I have been harvesting the leaves of buckwheat, sweet potatoes, basil, kale, turnips, radishes, dandelion, lemongrass, and plantain (the weed). I feed myself (salads), my rabbits (fresh greens as a significant supplement), my dogs and cat (veggie smoothies), and have dried what we couldn’t eat fresh before it would go bad. After I dry them, I can feed some to the rabbits (over the winter) and the rest I grind into powder to use as seasoning or nutritional supplements in my raw food recipes.

    Even with all this, I still have had plenty to lay in the garden as compost! I have been tickled to discover these extra and somewhat unconventional uses of the garden’s biomass – and I owe it all to the drought. I had virtually NO conventional produce this summer, so I decided to figure out what I could use. Even though the plants weren’t lush like I’m used to, God showed me the abundance He provided in spite of it all!

  • Hi Donna,

    Your comment was wonderful. You really have found the same secret that I have. There always seems to be abundance in spite of it all! If we look, it’s always there. And like you, it never ceases to amaze me the abundance that is provided us. Thank you so much for reading and being a part of the post with your comments.

    Best and warmest regards,

  • Hi Theresa,

    I have your lasagna in the oven & wanted to try steamed green beans. I’ve always boiled or roasted them.
    How long do you steam them when you cook them?

  • Betty, stem them until they’re done to the softness you desire. That can range, but I usually steam about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Thanks so much. I just picked about 15 blueberries from our small blueberry bushes, about 5 ripe blackberries, cleaned the volunteer cherry tomato plant of ripe ones, picked a bucketful of regular tomatoes, killed several hornworms & left one that wasn’t moving when I poked it. Now, back to picking the green beans.
    BTW, the lasagna is SO GOOD!

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