Friday, April 15, 2011

Garden Project

Last weekend Adam decided it was time to start our veggie garden. We had a very tiny one last year in our very tiny yard and it really didn't do all that well. We spent most of Sunday afternoon at the home improvement store gathering our soil, extra sprinkler line and plants. I'm a terrible gardener so Adam is the brains of the outfit. Just call me Ms. Blackthumb. It was a very nice day to garden. The two little girls were the only kids with us, the big girls were away with grandparents.

We planted 8 tomato plants. They are 2 different type of tomatoes. Adam put these in 4 large pots that someone had given him. We used a layer of an old compost bin to make a planter for our 5 strawberry plants. These were leftover plants from last spring. He put them in buckets when we moved and finally was able to transfer them to the ground. We also planted 4 zucchini and 1 cantaloupe. I've never grown cantaloupe before, so that will be interesting.

On Tuesday I told Adam I wanted to make the garden area bigger and I was planning on doing some modifying of the area next to the veggies/fruits. One whole side of our backyard (about 1000 sq ft) is gravel and weeds. I have a vision of how I'd like the garden area to look, so I grabbed a few buckets and a couple of shovels and started digging up the gravel and weeds. Adam outlined the area for me so I would have a guideline on where to dig. He was home on my first day working so he helped me. Mostly he dumped my rock/dirt buckets over in another area because they were way too heavy for me. I worked as much as I could to take advantage of his help. I knew on my own I could only fill the buckets halfway to carry myself. He also helped loosen up the gravel and dug up a bunch of the weeds for me. We make a great team when we're working on projects. I'm anticipating that this project will mostly be mine and I'm sort of happy about that. There is a wonderful sense of pride that comes from working hard and seeing the results of it.

Adam told me I need a wheelbarrow. I looked online for one, and they are about $50. Who has an extra $50 lying around for a wheelbarrow? Um, not us. I put a WANTED: post on freecycle for a wheelbarrow. I love freecycle for stuff like this. I quickly received 2 replies for wheelbarrows. I only replied to the 1st figuring if it wasn't a nice one I could then reply to the 2nd. I drove the next morning to the home of the 1st wheelbarrow. The nice lady opened the door with, "I"m sooo sorry". "I went out to get it for you and noticed a hole had been rusted through the bottom, you can come see it if you want". I went out and looked and it was a huge 2"x6" hole. I told her thanks anyway but I'm moving dirt and rocks and they would just fall right through. She was extremely apologetic and felt really bad that I drove over there.  I went ahead and sent a message to the 2nd person with a wheelbarrow. We went on over there as soon as they sent their address. I was pleasantly surprised and how nice this wheelbarrow was, it needed a little air in the tire, but otherwise it was in great condition.

We took it home and started working again. I didn't get as much done this time because the ground is a lot harder and it's taking some time to break into it. I need a picking tool or something like that. I may have to ask freecycle again.

After all of the gravel and weeds are dug up and moved, I'm going to have to go back over again with my shovel to remove the straggler rocks. Then I can till it and build a frame and make a pathway. I'm sure when the previous owner put the rocks down they had good intentions, but it's a big ole pain trying to move them.

I have a few pictures.


Roma and Early Girl Tomatoes

Zucchini and Cantaloupe

The lovely Petunias my husband bought for me

More Petunias and a hanging planter he bought for me also

An idea of the gravel and weeds

The area I'm working in

Day 1's work.
See the little buckets to the left we had to use to move the rocks and dirt?

Rock pile day 1

Day 2
A helping me dig. Look at my new wheelbarrow.

Much easier than buckets

Day 2's work. It's getting there

Day 2 rock pile.

1 comment:

Diana said...

I love the raised, square foot garden. You may want to "thin" out your zucchini though. They grow huge leaves, and take up a lot of space. Plus they are prolific producers. My family of 5 has a hard time using up all the zucchini from just two plants. Also a tip for cantaloupe, they do really well on a climbing trellis, as the vines like to travel. Hope your garden does well, I'm looking forward to watching it grow this summer.

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