Monday, March 21, 2011

Garden Progress

We've been making slow progress on our gardening efforts around here. First of all, it's a lot more work to dig a small plot of dirt than you'd think. Also, it takes a lot more dirt to fill a space than you'd think. Finally, whoever said that you can save money by growing your own fruits and veggies was on crack. This stuff is expensive! I can't tell you how many freaking bags of compost we've bought so far. I lost track.

But, things are starting to come together. Both of my varieties of tomatoes have sprouted in their little peat pellets. The back lawn is looking more green than brown, as is the front. And, we finally have some beds completed!

I think this one is my favorite right now. The house across the street from us is vacant (who wants to come be my neighbor???) and they had some workers in totally gutting it. They pulled out carpet, cabinets, appliances - everything - and replaced them. They also pulled out bushes and trees in both the front and back yards. They dug up the front lawn and laid fresh sod. They painted the house on the outside, and probably on the inside too. There was a dumpster in that driveway every day for almost two weeks!

Well, one day I was outside and I was watching them throw this cabinetry in the dumpster and was thinking what a shame it was. I mean, you can donate that stuff to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, you know? Then I saw they were throwing away those scallopped brick garden edgers. A ton of them. As the workers threw them in the dumpster I felt myself being disgusted by the waste and even complained about it to my husband, who was telecommuting that day.

Well, after they took that load to, presumably, the dump, I noticed that they had started to add these retaining wall bricks to the pile of trash in the driveway. I was horrified - those things are not cheap! I know because I had originally wanted to make my raised beds with them but they were cost prohibitive at $2 each. Quickly my brain began to work and I bravely went and sent my husband over there to ask if we could have them since they were going to just throw them out. They said we could have them! We scored 26 of them for free. Kick butt!

I hand painted the sign on a scrap of wood I had in my craft room. I love how bright and happy it looks out there. There are two varieties of pumpkins planted in that bed. It's going to look so nice when the vines start to grow!

This is my vegetable bed. Since the retaining wall would have been so expensive to do in an area this big, we decided to go with two raised bed kits from Lowe's. My husband put them together after we cleared the gravel from the area. The ground inside got broken up a bit then mixed with compost and garden soil. This bed will hold onions, carrots, zucchini, and my tomatoes when they are big enough to be transplanted. It's right outside my craft room window so I can admire it and bang on the window to scare away birds if need be.

Here are all my herbs in pots along the edge of the patio. The ones I started from seed haven't sprouted yet. There are about six strawberries growing though!

Oh, what's the muddy mess in the background?

The thorn in my gardening side. Remember my potager? This was to be the first bed I completed, and the biggest containing lettuces and herbs. I read in my gardening book those sorts of things grow well in our soil so I decided to just dig up the ground and plant them directly in there. Well, my husband and I were taking turns digging when he got a little over zealous, went a little too deep, and hit a freaking sprinkler line!!!

We had to quickly shut off the water while we pondered what to do. Luckily, when the landscapers came out two days later they said it wasn't a big deal and repaired it. Of course, when we went to turn the water back on another hose started to leak! I know that hose was not leaking before we shut off the water because it was spraying in a huge arc across the grass. There's kind of no way to miss that, you know? So as of right now, we don't know how that one happened. It's just a small puncture but my husband thinks he can fix it.

At this rate that bed will NEVER be done. To think, we started it first!

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Blogger Katy said...

I think we're unusual, but it'd be worth checking. Our town has a compost heap where you can pick up compost for free.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

haha! too funny, it is super expensive to grow your own stuff. I was listening to Car Talk on NPR and they figured it out once. It was something like $20 a tomato! At least you don't have to fence for deer and rabbits and such. I've been avoiding growing food for that reason. Your gardens look awesome!

12:45 PM  
Blogger Felicia said...

Singh Farm's in Scottsdale has great compost. Not sure how much it is. We got some last year..but we got a truck load I think it cost us $25.

4:55 PM  

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