This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Garden – Spring 2015

A little over a month ago, with the weather looking like it was going to hold and not bring another freeze, it was that time of year to begin the garden! Always a joyous time of hope!

The War of the Weeds

As always too, there is a constant war with the weeds. Over the Winter, they certainly had their way with the garden areas:

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden II

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden I West

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden I East

But I had the tool and the power! 🙂 These hoop hoes work great!

Hoop Hoe Used to Weed the Gardens

And here are the results!

Garden II 2015 Weeded

Garden I West 2015 Weeded

Garden I East 2015 Weeded

May the Spirit of Christ weed the garden of our hearts continually by His almighty power!


Once I figured we were clear of a freeze, we got to it, sowing seeds. Here Sue is helping:

Sue Planting the Garden

We also discovered that a zucchini we had planted last year decided to start growing now!

Zucchini Planted Last Year Germinated

And here we are as of today, freshly weeded again yesterday. 🙂 I’ve been a little disappointed because a lot of things didn’t germinate, not to murmur as we know all of these things are in God’s sovereign and wise hands, but to maybe understand if I’m doing something wrong. We’re still learning about planting in the mulch beds, and perhaps I really need to get them started in small containers first. Also, someone here asked if the seed was old, and it was, so I’m hoping that’s the real problem.

Anyway, we are thankful for what the Lord is granting! The beans always do great around here. There is also some squash to the left. Between them were peppers, but none of them sprouted:

Garden I Growth Early May

These are the tomatoes. We’re trying putting them in the shaded area to see how they do there:

Garden I Tomatoes

And this is that zucchini from last year! That’s kinda funny to me. 🙂

Zucchini Planted Last Year

And if you look closely, you can see just a few others, I think maybe a pumpkin, and maybe some more okra:

Garden I Other Small Plants

I thought I’d try starting some more in some good soil, but only the okra (I believe) is coming up. This might help confirm that “old seed” theory:

Seed Starting

We are always thankful for the provisions the Lord grants, even daily for our daily bread! We pray He continues to direct us in these agrarian activities.

May He grant us good soil in our hearts, not hardened (where Christ and His truth make no impact and are stolen away by sin, temptation and the devil), not stony (where faith withers under trials and persecutions), nor thorny (where they are taken away by the cares of the world). Mark 4:4-20

— David


  1. Katherine

    I saw a suggestion that you sprout the seeds first and then plant them. If you tried that you could see if any of them sprouted and save some work and time.

  2. David and Susan Sifford

    Hi Katherine,

    Yes ma'am…good idea!

    Thanks for saying hi!

    — David

  3. Judy

    I second Katherine's comment. I often test germinate old seed to see what germination percentage I might expect. Your gardens look great. We, too, are battling the weeds after not being able to get into the gardens due to the all the (blessed) rain. I always love seeing what comes up volunteer in our garden and we're learning to use what God is showing us to better understand when to plant.

  4. bayougirl

    I have found with older seeds it sometimes helps to soak the seed for 24 hours in water before planting it. Also – the first few weeks after you plant the seeds be sure and keep the ground thoroughly irrigated. If it dries out too much when the seeds are first sprouting they will die. Perhaps the mulch is fairly coarse on top and is drying out too much before the seeds have a chance to develop a sustainable root system. I hope that helps!

  5. David and Susan Sifford

    Hi Mrs. B,

    Yes, I'll have to be sure to try sprouting first, especially with the old seed.

    For us, about the only thing I find in our garden natural is goat feed. 🙂 Although, some of the weeds, especially those rag-type weeds that have those pervasive root systems we have here, make for great hand-wipes, to remove the chicken poop and actually leave a nice, almost minty fresh scent. 🙂

    Hi bayougirl,

    I have a feeling all 3 of the things you mention were in play, at least to some degree. I do try to make sure the seeds are planted lower in the mulch, so as to get to actual soil.

    Everyone's suggestions are great! Thank you so much for taking the time to offer them, and always anyone please feel free to offer words of wisdom — we're just former city folk trying to figure all this stuff out. 🙂

    Thank you all again!

    — David

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