Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gardening 101 / part 1

Ever since we moved and even before, E and I have been talking about starting a garden. We've got a pretty decent sized yard and already have a few fruit trees, but the plots need work, and digging and some new soil. For three months we've been all talk, but last week when the two of us had a random Tuesday off together, we decided to trek down to Home Depot and see what we could get started on.

Our dream garden includes lots of vegetables. Ideally, I'd love to grow at least 80% of the vegetables that we consume daily. It sounds lofty right now, but seriously with some good soil, and the weather we have in California, it's not that impossible, it just might take a lot of time and TLC, maybe a little singing with the seedlings to get them moving, but it is do-able. Right now, however, we're still plotting out where these veggies might go. There's a nice strip of land on the side of the house that would make a great veggie garden, or a great dog run, and we are still debating if adopting a Rover is in the near future for us.

If we're going to rely on our garden for veggies, we're going to need to do some serious thinking and planning. When you have one Tuesday off in the middle of the week, serious thinking and planning is not something you really want to do. So we went with what we knew and decided to focus on a small portion of our garden that would be aesthetically functional rather than edible.

We wet the dirt, separated out any rocks and paint chips left over from the construction, then added some top soil and more water, then tilled the dirt (not really sure what the full significance of tilling is, but we have a tiller and using it makes me feel like a farmer gardener who knows what she's doing). You can see me with the tiller above. Then we turned the soil and watered and tilled some more until it felt ready for some plants. Our before picture was taken a little late, we'd already gotten the lavender in the ground before we realized that we should have taken a picture, and it wasn't fair to the plan to dig it up for the sake of memory keeping.  So lavender went in, then some purple and white ornamental kale, just because it looks cool and spongy. And then in the middle we've got some beautiful Icelandic poppies. We've also bought some bulbs for tulips and paper whites that we're planning on interspersing throughout this flower bed, around what's already there.

It was a lot of work, and made us realize we're really going to have to plan the vegetable garden out first before we get cracking, but that we've got to get started soon with Spring just around the corner. The end result was well worth it though. We not have a fresh and beautiful flowerbed in our backyard, just to the side of the garage wall. We're very proud of our little flowers and are excited to watch them grown.

Next on the list is planning the veggies. Any suggestions? Tomatoes are a must, and some greens, but we're still researching what is best for our climate and the seasons weather that we have. What do you think we should plant?