What I Have Been Up To: Vegetable Mayhem

I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes


So, I’ve finished planting my vegetable/herb garden. People have been asking me about it, asking me “how to” questions, weather tips, etc.

Let me just make one thing clear: I’m the worst person to ask advice from. I don’t ever do things right…I just do things.

I started by asking my mom for gardening advice. I had to torture it out of her…she didn’t take me seriously when I stated my interest. I also went to my dad, the farmer, for advice.

“Dad, how often should I water these things?”

“Oh you know. Not too much, not too little..”

Oh the obscurity!

So anyway, they did help me get the basics. I won’t go into the basics, but it involves a lot of shoveling. I have hard pan in my back yard: my shovel would hit the ground and bounce.

A normal person would have prepped for the plants, and then gone and bought the plants. I was much more interested in buying plants, so I did that first. I only bought things I like to eat, so the only tomatoes I will be growing are cherry. Three kinds. Three colors. I’m exciting like that.

I had big plans to do it all in one day. Then my shovel started bouncing around, and I got very upset. Enter husband. Husband came home from work, prepped the ground, assembled the above ground thingy he brought home as a surprise, and was that good enough for me? Um. NO. I needed dirt. I needed it NOW so I could work on it as soon as the sun rose (it had set by this time).

Husband went and bought a bunch of dirt, then lugged it into the garden, then mixed it around. He stumbled onto the couch at about 8:30 p.m. As soon as the sun rose, I was outside, watering, and digging.

I couldn’t find my gloves. I didn’t have time for buying new gloves! I dug with my fingers. As a result the wrinkles in my hands are filled with dirt. Dirt is now stuck under my fingernails and in the beds of my fingers. It looks like I haven’t bathed in a year. I also have some splinters in my knuckles.

I couldn’t find my trowel. I used a green plastic one from Q’s sandbox. This is another reason why loose soil is important when gardening veggies. Always have loose soil, especially if you don’t know where your trowel is.

Finally, the task was completed. I worked on it all day, and I don’t know how I would have done it with out Derrick. There was a lot of heavy lifting, so either get a wheelbarrow or a husband before you attempt this task.

This raised bed was at Lowe’s and took minutes to build, but you could save money and build your own. It’s small (4×4) but it fits in my yard.

Here’s the view from my porch.

Since I don’t have a lot of space, I decided to put my tomatoes in pots. These were at Costco for 20 dollars each, and they’re huge. Be sure to drill holes in the bottom if you need to, drainage is important. I thought I had done that, but then one of the pots wasn’t draining. Finally I turned it upside down and realized I forgot to drill a hole in the bottom. I pulled three muscles doing it…dirt filled pots are heavy (and my drill was out of batteries)!

I was outside all day. By the end of the day I was SO SORE, but it all looked great. I ate a piece of lettuce for fun. I also tried a piece of cilantro, but I wouldn’t recommend that; it made my nose clear out.

I planted this garden to get my kid to eat veggies, and because I don’t like store bought tomatoes. Plus, it was fun! So, in honor of my vegetable garden (and because I had turned into a jellyfish), we all went out for pizza. The irony of celebrating a healthy, natural, vegetable garden with pizza is not lost on me…

As we were sitting in our booth, Q looked over at a lady at the table next to us and screamed at the top of his lungs, “SHE HAS A KNIFE!”

He’s very safety conscious. Now if only I can get him to eat his veggies…

If you still have questions and seek advice from me, I’m happy to oblige. I think you might be safer to consult a book though. You will at least have cleaner fingernails.


15 thoughts on “What I Have Been Up To: Vegetable Mayhem

  1. You did a great job…really. Good for you.
    My husband is the gardener in the family. We live in the city and also have to do raised beds. I love fresh veggies, but usually after seeing my 50th squash during the season, I secretly hope for squash bores (or is it bors? or is that even a word and not something I just made up?).

    Look forward to seeing pictures of those colorful tomatoes…

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  2. and all I can think is I want a fountain like that. 🙂

    I am not posting pictures of my seedlings now. They look sad compared to your garden.

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  3. AMY! Derrick made my fountain with my FIL, you could totally make one, we buried the pot and filled it with rocks so it's less of a safety issue. You must post pics of your seedlings, you are doing it the right way, not the super fast must finish at all costs way!
    Karen, thanks for the encouragement. I'm planning on dropping extra stufff off at my neighbor's doors and running away. I did not even plant squash, because I hate it.

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  4. so fun! I have a book that one of the kids in my class bought me as a going away gift about gardening in the desert… all my good intentions are still in the book… that is resting peacfully in my pantry!! I was thinking about planting some sunflowers with Charity though… I think I feel inspired!! Thanks!

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  5. I agree with Amy. I noticed the fountain, too. I've always wanted a fountain. Would you guys ever do a how-to on your blog on how to make one? I can't wait to plant my tomatoes, either, but it's not warm enough here yet. And cilantro clears your nose out? I could call you wimpy but I won't, 'cause that's not nice 🙂

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  6. joAnn you are hilarious! nice veggie garden! i might try one one of these days! i read your profile and the thing about your kids handing you boogers was too funny and reminded me that the other day i caught my 7 yr. old daughter feeding the dog her booger! like totally gross!
    love, deanna c.

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  7. Kristy, you could make a house out of sunflowers, just plant them in a square with a space for a door. They grow really tall and make the doors. Jodi, I could work on a how-to. I would have to find out how they did it, since i wasn't paying attention. 🙂 I haven't planted anything before, ever so it's a great experiment.
    Deanna, lets see how long I can keep this stuff alive!

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  8. Just so you know….ONE of those tomato plants could fill the whole pot…not to burst your bubble, but you might to get to the store and yourself some more….I'm just sayin'.

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  9. Beautiful garden – impressive! Oh – and that pizza is beautiful too… Is that the Gourmet Veggie pizza from RoundTable?? It's making my mouth water. BUT! It's not as beautiful as your garden pictures… : )

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  10. Funny post:) I made my 15 yo read it- she enjoyed it too and she's the one not so excited to be gardening…

    I love the raised beds. It always cracks me up to think of how hard it would have been to explain to my ranching grandpa that I have to buy my dirt to fill a box.

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  11. oh my goodness! i'm laughing outloud at the knife thing!

    veggie garden looks great! we plant a TON of tomatoes. this year i'm going to be expanding my suburbia garden. i don't know what else i will plant yet…we will see!

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  12. Susan, my mom offered to give me dirt, but I couldn't think of a way to haul it in my little Honda Accord. I console myself in the thought that store bought dirt doesn't have any weeds (yet).
    FM: I planted too many tomatoes, and everything I bought had a high sugar content. I just noticed that the type of carrot seeds I bought are called “candy sticks”. No joke. I hope they live…the humiliation of having to blog about my dead veggie garden after everyone has seen it!

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  13. Good luck with your garden, too! I know I made big changes to improve over last year, but I won't know until it's too late whether or not they were good changes. That's one thing about gardening – if it doesn't work, you have to wait a whole year to try again.

    Like the water feature, too!

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