Let the planting begin!

Let the planting begin! I've spent portions of each day this week preparing a small garden plot where we will attempt to grow some vegetables.

While my family did have a garden most of the time while I was growing up, I didn't pay much attention. Seems that is a mistake I made a lot I thought I'll never need to know this, who cares about it. And so I missed out on a lot of knowledge that I should have been soaking up like a sponge. Ah, the follies of youth!

So I'm starting out as a rookie here. And I'm only starting at all because things have gotten so slow around here that I'm confident I'll have the time to keep up with it. I do have several friends who have gardens and they complain all the time about how busy they are trying to keep things done, especially at harvest time. But then, it does seem that most folks these days complain about being too busy even when they have nothing much to do.

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So anyway I tilled up a patch next to the barn. At the moment it's about 5 feet by 10 feet, but I'll be expanding that as we have need. Now when those of you who have acre (or larger) gardens and a John Deere to tend it with are though rolling on the floor with laughter I'll continue. Marie and I figured this would be the best place for a garden plot for several reasons: 1) It is as close to a level spot as we have on our property. 2) It is down hill from our septic field, so the ground is rich (our best grass grows there) and 3) it is convenient to the barn, where we store the yard and gardening tools.

This was slow going because at first I decided I should dig out the grass, so I used a flat nose spade to cut the sod loose and stack it in a wheel barrow to cart it up the hill on the other side of our house to re-plant it in the bare spots. This is, after all, our best grass; maybe it would help cover in those bare spots and prevent the erosion up there that keeps silting in my drainage ditch that protects our parking spot. But that was slow going because the dirt here is like concrete. Except when it rains, then it turns to glop that sticks like crazy to everything, and it's been raining a fair bit lately. So I had a few windows of opportunity between rain showers to dig in something resembling dirt.

That was going too slowly, however, and I decided to sacrifice the grass and just till up the whole shebang. Still slow going, and a serious workout. Did you see that yard tool lying on the ground next to the garden? Thats a Poulon Pro split shaft yard machine. It can be fitted with a string trimmer, brush cutter, tiller (shown) and a pole saw (chain saw on a stick for pruning trees). We have all but the pole saw and plan to get that when the budget allows. The tiller does a good job on light work, and is passable for heavier work like this. It doesn't have the weight to dig in easily like a regular tiller and it has no drag rake so it pulls like a mule, leaving my back and shoulder sore for days after each use. But it gets the job done. And once the ground is busted up the first time, it will do it more easily next time. I think.

So far I have planted an assortment of tomatoes, yellow beans, peas, carrots, egg plant, and a whole row of something that slips my mind at the moment. I'll till up another couple of rows this weekend to make room for some chard and radishes. I'd like to add broccoli, cauliflower, and leaf lettuce, but will have so see how this goes and check to see if I've missed my window of opportunity on those crops. It is a little late in the year now.

And so it seems I have taken up a new hobby. Any helpful hints will be appreciated!

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Posted in Landscaping Post Date 02/07/2015






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