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.