I've been working on a big project day and night and am not ready to reveal it just yet so although it's been eating up most of my time, I haven't had much else to blog about. Today I stepped away from that and worked on our veggie garden though and I'd love to share the story of how it has come about with you.
A couple of years ago, this is what one corner of our back yard looked like (in fact, this was a photo from the MLS listing when we bought the house):
I think the first thing to go was the drying rack. I freecycled it to someone who really wanted it. Over the next few months as we attacked the multitude of projects that we came up for ourselves in converting our new home from that of a 89 year old woman with a love of bushes and harsh fertilizers into a safe home for a family with a toddler. One thing my husband really wanted to do was to move all the beautiful rose bushes from throughout the garden beds to right next to our patio. Far off there in the distance you can see something bright pink as well as some rose bushes. The roses are SOOO beautiful!!!
Clearing those out left a bit of a hole back there in what we call "the back 40" so we thought it might be a good place for a vegetable garden. That was 2 summers ago. Since then, we've been stashing extra dirt back there in a bit of a heap still dreaming of our veggie garden. Every once in awhile S would head back and do some weeding but mostly it was just doing nothing UNTIL...
One day a few weeks ago we were out kickin' it in the back yard when the friendly neighbor with all the great garden tools offered to let us borrow his power tiller. S happily took the gas powered monster from him and tilled us up a nice garden. Just like that in about 15 minutes of tilling and another 10 of shaping those rows into nice raised garden beds, we were finally in business.
Of course, we still had to make a plan, buy some seeds, fence it off, etc etc etc.
I tried to do seed starts but put the grow light too close to the plants and mostly fried them. I tried to plant them anyway but most weren't too forgiving of my mistreatment. While I was busy cooking the seeds, S built a simple little fence around the perimeter to keep out the local wildlife (3 year old included) of which we have quite a bit. After watching the garden NOT grow much for a couple of weeks, S headed out and planted some seeds but it wasn't until today that we finally bucked up, bought some compost/manure and a few starts that I truly have hope we'll have a garden this year.
Here's what it looked like before I got to work on the soil and planted a handful of 4 inch starts (I still planted a bunch of seeds but we picked up some on-sale starts today so we'd have something to give us more hope).
While I was taking a little nap this afternoon, the hubs placed the starts we had picked up this morning. I should also mention our awesome neighbor gave us a bit of his rhubarb plant when we started our garden. It's actually part of what goosed us into action the day he lent us the tiller.
After examining each and every section for any sign of life from my original fried starts or the seeds later added, I weeded, hand-tilled in compost, replanted the survivors, planted the new starts, more seeds then stood back to admire an afternoon of work
We had a bunch of American flag toothpicks left over from O's birthday (the flag on the moon) so I used those to mark where I had planted anything that could be mistaken for a weed in the coming weeks before our plants become full-grown vegetables. It seemed extra fitting that I did this on Memorial Day!
I'm so much more hopeful about our garden now that I've put this additional work into it. Now I know not to cut corners in the future when it comes to gardening. It has been quite a learning curve but I'm so excited to watch our plants grow and reap the benefits of our hard work.
I'm going to do a post about my garden markers sometime in the next few days but here's a close up of my no budget project:
Thank you for reading,
Other posts you might be interested in:
Boil Your Weeds