A couple of years ago, my friends asked me if I was going to plant the garden again. (I had planted a huge garden the year before.) Since I had already been talking to the LORD about it, I knew that there was no way that I would have time to have a garden that summer. So, I told THE LORD that I was going to depend on HIM to bring me some fresh squash, tomatoes, and melons. As always, HE provided for me.
The previous year, I had planted my mom’s garden, and it was huge. Just planting it was a lot of work. At first, it seemed to do well, but then the weeds and grass took over.
I found that because I had NOT taken time to prepare the garden spot properly, I could NOT keep up with it. I ended up having a lot of weeds and grass and little else.
The veggies that I had planted in my garden could NOT grow because of the weeds and grass. Then the squash bugs started attacking my squash and the birds started eating my tomatoes. We had quite a few grasshoppers, but preparation would have made a big difference. Unfortunately, there were also some issues caused by the devil that I could NOT have foreseen.
Everything got out of hand very quickly!
You know, life is like a garden or a flowerbed in a lot of ways. Sometimes, things get out of hand before we realize what is going on. And sometimes, the enemy seems to come at us out of the blue!!!
Last year, I decided to plant the flowerbed beside my house, so that I could enjoy it and have something of beauty to look at each day when I come home. And I am so glad that I did. I enjoy it every day!!!
My cannas have grown unbelievably tall and right now they are blooming like crazy!!! They are absolutely gorgeous!!! I have definitely been rewarded for ALL my hard work!!!
A flowerbed is a thing of beauty, when it is prepared correctly, but preparation takes a lot of work. However, if you put in the time and energy, it is well worth the effort.
So, what did I do to prepare my flowerbed?
Well, to begin with, I tilled it several times. Just tilling, helped me get rid of the unwanted grass, plants and roots. I bought some stuff to kill the more aggressive weeds. And because all flowerbeds and gardens are a work in progress, I have to work to keep any unwanted grass and plants from coming back. I have to put out fertilizer, and make sure that I water my flowerbed.
I have some soaker hoses that I use along with a timer that helps me water the flowerbed in the evenings. I have to water my flowerbed to keep it alive, just like I had to water my garden. Very few plants can live or grow without water.
I made my flowerbed next to the house, where the sun shines most of the day. God has given us the sun for light and heat. I didn’t put my flowerbed in the shade and just expect it to grow without sunshine and the heat that the sun brings.
All this may sound very simple to you. And you may be saying, WELL, DUHHHHHHHHHHH! Who doesn’t know that?
However, I have seen some odd things over the years. To be truthful, some folks act like they have NO idea about planting a garden or a flowerbed. And maybe some folks really have no idea at all!!! Maybe they have never had any experience in planting a flowerbed or growing veggies.
Through past experience, I have found that tilled, fertilized ground grows better crops. I have found that when you break-up the ground by tilling it, you make it softer and you dig up the roots and trash, so that they can be cleaned out. By repeatedly tilling the ground deeply where I want to plant, I am preparing the ground for planting. Prepared ground is more fertile and easier to plant.
I have also learned that when I plant a garden, I can keep it prepared, if I will till it at different times during the year. This will keep the weeds and grass from growing back because they cannot grow in soil that is being tilled again and again.
However, I have found that in my flowerbed, it is NOT always possible to till it again because several of my plants have bulbs, roots or rhizomes that stay in the ground year around. This means that I must use another method to control the unwanted grass and weeds. By mulching, I have found that I can control some of the unwanted grass and weeds and detour them from coming back!!!
I have been told that once I have my flowerbed established, I can use Weed and Feed to keep unwanted grass and weeds from coming up!!! By being persistent, I can make sure that weeds do NOT grow in my flowerbed. Unfortunately, some of that persistence has to be weeding!!!
NOT just weeding once a year, but constant weeding!!!
However, I have been told that my persistence will pay off and eventually the weeds and grass will stop trying to grow in my flowerbed!!! I can’t wait for that day!!! Until then I have to keep pulling those weeds and grass up. I have to make sure that I get the entire root!!! I can’t consider leaving even the smallest bit.
The sin in our lives is like the weeds in my flowerbed!!! Persistence pays off, and eventually the sin that tempts us will NO longer tempt us, if we keep saying no, and refuse to even think about it!!! However, that doesn’t mean that the enemy is going to leave us alone!!! Persistence does pay off!!! And the enemy will have to try something different!!!
I have already said this, but LIFE is very much like a flowerbed.
A flowerbed has to be prepared, before it can be planted. There are very few situations in life that you can jump head long into and be successful! The best thing that you can do in any situation is to prepare.
Take time to research and find out about what you want to do. Talk to folks who have been successful at the things that you want to do.
Nowadays, you can google most things, but unless you know the writer of an article, you don’t know how successful they actually are at what they say they are doing. So, read more than one article. Be sure that you know the subject well!!!
You see, I certainly don’t know everything, but I now have some experience and I have gained some insight thru talking to others. I have talked to a lot of folks who are successful at gardening and I have taken note of what they said.
My neighbor has been tilling gardens since she was a girl when she helped her dad, so I enlisted her help. I found out from her that I needed to till more than once and that I needed to till deep into the ground. I found out that by tilling the ground several times, I could break up the ground and have a really good place for planting.
You know, I found out that tilling is NOT easy. It requires strength and time. If something is worth doing, then it is worth spending time on.
You have to be strong to be able to stand when hard times come or when things get bad. And you have to be willing to keep standing until you have accomplished that which you set out to do!!!
In my neck of the woods, when a person is determined to accomplish something, you’ll hear them say, I’ll do this, “Come Hell or high water!!!” However, the Bible words it a bit differently!!! It says, …having done ALL to stand; Stand therefore!!!
Ephesians 6:13-14 (KJV)
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
The next step in preparing a flowerbed or garden is spreading fertilizer. This year, I forgot to take time and go pick-up cow manure. However, I already had some fertilizer that I have used over the years. I also chose to use tea grounds because they are really supposed to nourish your plants. Both of these seemed to work very well.
The one thing that I forgot to do was to add fertilizer and then till the flowerbed again to work the fertilizer into the ground, before I planted. I will ask the LORD to remind me next year. And when I prepare the front flowerbed, I will remember to till in the fertilizer with the help of The LORD!
Don’t get me wrong, I will still use some fertilizer before I water tonight, and my plants will grow. I have prepared my ground, I have fertilized, and I have watered.
You can have lots of plants, but if you do NOT put them in good ground and water them, and fertilize them, they will NOT grow!!!
God wants us to be planted in HIM and HE wants us to grow in HIM.
Just like my plants will NOT grow big and strong without the sun, water and being fed, you and I cannot grow big and strong in GOD without HIS SON –THE LIVING WORD!!! We are watered and fed by HIS WORD!!!
The good thing about being in GOD is that you can always learn. You can always pick up your Bible, and begin to eat and grow.