Sunday, April 03, 2011

Getting the Garden Started

Wow it’s been a busy couple of days, at least those I’ve been home. For three days before leaving for Denver and for three days since I’ve been back I’ve been constantly getting the garden ready for this year. Those of you who know me know I’ve always wanted a “real” garden and it looks like this year I’m going to have the space and time to devote to it.

The neighbor behind us has about 3 to 4 acres that abuts our property and he only uses it for hay for his horses. He offered to plow me some of his field for garden if I wanted it and I jumped on the idea. I’ve been patiently waiting for about six months for planting time to arrive and now its just about here.

One thing I’ve learned so far this season, though its only just begun, is a huge respect for gardeners of years past who did everything on their own with no machinery. Everything I’ve done thus far this year has been completely by hand and my garden is extremely small compared to others and hand-tilling this will wear you out! Stanly county soil is thick red clay, so thick it often clumps so tight you can mistake it for stone. I’ve had to hand-crush all the clumps, mix about a thousand pounds of clay with 500 pounds of potting soil, and added osmocote to the mix as a booster. Just the rose garden took me almost three days to complete and it’s only 18 feet long.

The newest addition: Herb Garden.

herbgardenLittle ideas here and there have led me to more and more work, two solid days of which resulted in me getting Amy’s herb garden designed and built. After building the first part of it today she’s decided she wants to double it and put one on the other side of the patio, so I’ll get to work on that in the next couple of days. First she decided she wanted it twice as tall. Now she wants two of them! lol. It’s work but I love woodworking and I love gardening, so I certainly enjoy combining the two, especially when it’s stuff she wants!

The picture here is a raised bed I built for a total of about $40.00 in materials. I’d highly suggest building your own over purchasing pre-built beds. It just makes no sense to spend that kind of money when you can do this in an afternoon. This one is 1 foot tall, 12 feet long, L shaped, and 18 inches wide.

The next project is one just like it with a bench in the middle that will go across the patio from this one.

This weekend I laid in the herbs that are already potted and ready to go. This bed you see here (above) has Lavender,rosemary, peppermint, sage, oregano, Strawberries (cause I really wanted at least ONE strawberry plant) and two kinds of peppers so Amy and Jordan can make their Salsa-Verde they like so much.

The garden thus far this year:

snapdragons Prior to this weekend we primarily put the flowering stuff roses, creeping phloxes (pink fuscia and pale pink), candytuft, Raspberries, african daisies, creeping thyme, lithidora, and snap dragons.

The next obstacle to tackle is the seed germination for the vegetable garden and for the other herb garden, all of which I seeded tonight. I sorted, catalogued, and started 144 new plants, all of which will go in the ground within the coming month. I’m cataloguing these below for my own reference so I’ll know what’s what when its time to transfer them.

Tray 1:

  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • 10 Okra
  • 4 Giant Watermelon
  • 6 Crimson Sweet Watermelons
  • 4 Jubilee Watermelons
  • 12 Sugar Baby Watermelons
  • 6 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 6 Tendergreen Cucumbers
  • 6 Boston Pickling Cucumbers
  • 6 Straight 8” Cucumbers
  • 6 Zucchini Squash

Tray 2

  • 18 Giant Speckled Pole Beans
  • 8 Cowpeas
  • 6 Thorogreen Bush Lima Beans
  • 6 California Wonder Bell Pellers
  • 6 Straightneck Squash
  • 6 Basil
  • 6 Coreander
  • 6 Parsley
  • 6 Early Summer Crookneck Squash
  • 6 Dill Bouquet

Tomorrow I’ve got two quotes to work on for customers, 1 project to schedule, and then I’m off to find a place to hunt down some bamboo so I can work up my idea for bean poles, then I’m off to Lowe’s for more lumber for my wife’s herb garden/bench. Oi! Ok, back to work.

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