We have a little garden plot, well actually it’s not very little considering we’re in the middle of the city and it takes up about a 3rd of the backyard! We’ve rented our house for just over 3 years, so this will be our 4th summer there, and my 4th attempt at gardening! It’s not just me either, my husband Tavis is also into gardening and reaping the many benefits of home grown food so we’re in it together.
Last weekend, we took advantage of the beautiful weather to reclaim the garden plot and tame it in preparation for seeds and plants to go in. When we started, it looked terrible because at the end of the season last year we didn’t get rid of any of the dead plants, so they were completely overgrown and dried up! Beneath the rough exterior though is an awesome template that we have set up over the last 4 summers. Taking inspiration from my mother-in-law’s amazing garden, we initially tilled the earth into raised beds and last year we put down much more black plastic around those beds to discourage weeds from popping up everywhere else, and to help keep the paths defined.
Saturday morning, Tavis and I went to work weeding and soon we could actually see the dirt, and I even found a few plants hardy enough to come back! Oh thyme, how lovely you make everything smell! Tavis went to work on the larger dead plants, and I got down and dirty with the little weeds just starting to grow. We made a good team, and had it looking great in no time!
About the time I was starting to get the compost ready and plant some seeds, my in-laws showed up with even more compost, more hay to spread along the paths (because black plastic and old worn-out cardboard makes for a slippery pathway!), and some extra plants from their greenhouse for our garden. Lovely! So I set about planting the extra plants which included:
green and red baby romaine lettuce
and an early zucchini plant
I already had 2 strawberry plants struggling in amongst the raspberry patch, so I amalgamated all 5 plants to one plot. It felt great to add some already-growing plants to make the garden look healthy and happy! In the meantime, Tavis set about mowing the lawns and deciding what to do about our infestation of dandelions. No word of a lie, our back lawn is ¾ dandelions. He called his brother to borrow his special dandelion tools, and he planned to bring them over later that afternoon. We spread out the hay between the pathways and called it a day!
On Sunday there were thundershowers in the forecast, so we went to work bright and early hoping to get lots more done! Tavis started on his war with the dandelions with both the grabber tool, and the water tool that his brother had brought over. The grabber tool was just breaking the dandelions off, which means they’ll just grow back from the same root again, so he scrapped that tool. Tavis thought the water tool worked really well (by shooting water at high pressure down into the ground near the root and loosening the dirt so the whole thing can be pulled out), but it actually took quite a bit of time per dandelion root to loosen and pull out (which equates to a whole bunch of time when you think of how many dandelions we have!), and it began to make a big muddy mess with all the water. In the end Tavis, a former treeplanter, grabbed his small planting shovel and his tree bags, and set to work digging up the dandelions (treeplanting in reverse!). He had about 1/3 of our lawn done in about 45 minutes. It was impressive!
Meanwhile, I was busy adding compost to a couple of rows and then planting green beans, beets, peas, and carrots. I also put together a trellis for the beans to climb from an old setup that my in-laws had dropped off previously. Then I planted some marigold and sunflower seeds in a couple of large pots, and cleaned up some old piles of leaves around the yard. As though Mother Nature knew exactly when I was done, it started to rain buckets!
We are quite pleased with our weekend of gardening, though we still have a lot to do. Still, we accomplished a lot. Here’s what the garden looked like before:
And here it is after:
Do you have a garden? What have you planted so far?