Monday, April 11, 2011

Gardening and I

Gardening and I
Go Together
Like Fish and Pie

At least that's how I feel right now. I love the idea of having a vegetable garden, a useful herb garden, and a flower garden of sorts. The problem is that I currently lack the know how and time to do it all right now. I admit that I've longed to be blessed with the so called "green thumb", but I do have to wonder if anyone is really born with a "green thumb". I kind of wonder if it isn't cultivated over time, slowly as a garden. Wouldn't that be fitting?

When we bought our house last year we closed mid May and moved in at the very beginning of June. By that time some areas of our lovely yard that had clearly at one time been designated as "garden areas" were overgrown with weeds. So we did the best we could last year just trying to keep the weeds at bay. I vowed that this year I would do justice to these areas. Well, here we are during gardening and planting season and I'm a bit clueless. I admit that I won't have the time and/or resources to do everything that I'd like to do.

Project #1 on my list is going to be tomatoes. I grew tomatoes several years in a row and well, once you've had tomatoes from your own garden, there's just no going back! I had such an abundance the first year that I grew tomatoes that I roasted my excess with garlic, pureed, froze in ice cube trays and had a good supply for much of winter. It was lovely - so much better than store bought sauce for pastas and such! The area for this project is a strip of land right by the garage. There's a bit of weediness in the area. I'm trying to figure out the best way to clear it without resorting to the dig it out method. I'm thinking that a tiller would work for this?

Project #2 is our front yard. In my mind I see beautifully landscaped raised bed gardens on either side of the steps in our front yard. The reality? We have neither the time or the budget for that this year. Soooo, I think this is what I've decided. I'm going to throw some landscaping fabric or newspaper down, a bunch of soil on top, mulch over the soil, and call it done for the year. Hopefully that will keep the weeds from taking over. During the year I can buy the retaining wall blocks of my choice a little bit at a time so that by next year I have the supplies I need to do a raised bed garden on either side of our front steps. It sounds good to me. I'm open to ideas and know how on this one!

Project #3 is an area in our backyard that's right by our patio. There were some leafy plants there when we moved in, but not knowing what was what I weedwhacked through everything when I was trying to keep weeds at bay. Now this area is covered with more green leafy stuff that has tiny violet flowers everywhere and a few ferny looking things. I really just want to clear out the area and start fresh so that I know what's what. I'd love to have stuff planted in there this year, but I don't know if that's too ambitious or not. How do I best get rid of the weedy stuff that's there? I don't want to go the dig it out route. I did that one year to get rid of sod to make room for a garden and it took me forever! Can I rent a tiller and till it weeds and all and then plant, put landscape fabric or newspaper around plants, and then mulch? I don't even know what a tiller looks like, let alone how to use one. Is that even the right thing for this kind of job?

Can you tell that I'm really hoping that someone who knows a fair bit about gardening reads this post and imparts beautiful green thumb wisdom to me?

On another note, while I was pulling out some dead weeds or bushes or something out of the Project #3 area today Boo started running his hands through the mud, smearing it around, and pushing the garden hoe around. It made me smile. There's something inside of me that feels like all is right when my little one is exploring dirt with his hands. Could this be some sort of primal instinct left from ancestors who worked the earth in order to eat and live? I don't know. I have to admit that there's something about working through dirt, digging, growing, and eating fresh veggies that just makes me uber happy!

So hopefully we'll have some fun working the dirt together and getting plants in the ground while it's still planting season!


  1. See, I have no talent whatsoever for plants. I tend to kill flora of all kinds. Plus I'm really not into dirt, and bugs freak me out.

    But I do like reaping the benefits of it. So I'm glad my husband is into the gardening thing. He planted a bunch of stuff last year but it was mostly a failure. Tomatoes and zucchini were about all we managed. Hopefully this year we'll have better luck.

  2. Till, plant then put newspaper down and mulch. If the weeds start to grow pull and put more mulch down. We use grass clippings or you can use hay too. If you have any other questions let me know.

  3. Abinormal - How lucky of you to have a hubby that enjoys gardening! My hubby's not a huge garden person, but he did say something this morning about how he's going to be prepping our garden areas. We'll see. I have a feeling it was mainly out of trying to protect his preggo wife from too much work. Very sweet, but as long as I don't do too much in one day I'm sure I'll be fine!

    Cindy - Thank you! I'm glad to know that I'm on the right track. I'm wanting very much to keep those weeds under control this year. Hubby is going to get me a garden tiller (the manpowered kind) today. Hopefully this will be much easier than the "shovel it out" method I used a couple of years ago to make my veggie garden!