Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lifes' a garden, can you dig it?!

Well it's March in Texas which means it's time to start planting our garden. Odd since we usually don't plant until May but, the meteorologists all say that the chance for frost is gone and Lowes/Home Depot and every other greenhouse place it promoting it, so we dug right in.

Well, we tried to. But Texas dirt isn't exactly optimal soil for a home veggie garden. And in this pic of the kids, look behind them...there is some edging and overgrown/dead plants against the fence line {I didn't think to take an actual ''before'' pic}
zoomed in...
See the dead vines over-growing our fence line? Well I wanted them out. I thought we could then rake up the area, get some new soil and plant our garden there but, there was no way. B had to dig and dig to get the roots of whatever plant that was out. The ground was so dry, it was almost sand. So I suggested that we get some lumber and make a raised vegetable garden.

So impulsive people that we are, we threw the kids in the van and off to Lowes we went. We purchased an 8x4 piece of plywood, then bought a 2"x12"x16' piece and had them cut the plywood in half, and cut the long piece into 4ft sections. Our total spent on lumber was under $30. So we are making a smaller garden box, 4feet x 4feet and 12inches deep, then adding some tall corner posts and {eventually netting} so that our vine/climbing plants (cucumbers, peas, and squash) will have room to grow upward. All in all, it took maybe 30 mins to construct, then B threw in a bag of topsoil and let the boys scoop it out into the box.
Peanut, excited about the dirt. You can see the ground in front and the huge dead plant behind, that was there previously.

We are using the existing pots/planters that were left in our backyard by previous tenants, and planting our tomato and pepper plants individually in those. We planted our watermelon and cantaloupe seeds along the outer edge, so that as they grow we can move the vines and will then to grow over and infront of the raised bed. (We are growing the little mini watermelons that only get 6 inches round). While I know that B would like to have a bigger garden, we're starting out small so we can see what it's like to grow veggies in Texas, which ones are successful and then we can go from there. We can always add another 4x4 bed next to our existing one. The boys had an absolute blast helping scoop out the dirt and choosing the seeds of what we will be growing. Last night, they planted the seeds. Carefully, since our garden is little we only planted 1/2 of each pack of seeds. They like to dump the entire package in so B went through after they "helped" and cleaned it up a bit.
Last year we successfully grew cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, peppers, carrots, lettuce and herbs. Pumpkins didn't really turn out (we grew one), potatoes flopped, and the lettuce we couldn't eat fast enough so a lot of it was wasted.

This year we are trying cucumbers, peas, cauliflower, (less) lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, basil, watermelon and cantaloupe. It sounds like a lot for our tiny space but I think using less seeds, and the fact that we're planting the tomatoes and peppers separately...it should all work out.  Wish us luck! Ideally we're hoping it turns out looking similar to this:
Image courtesy of Google images, on Home Depot site

We're excited to see what grows and eat some delicious fruits and veggies.

3 comments:

  1. That's awesome that you are doing a garden! We always did one when we were growing up too. I bet the boys love it :D I'm hoping to do a couple straw bale gardens this year! Can't wait for all the fresh produce too.

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  2. That comment was from me (Katie), not Brandon. :/

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  3. Good luck with that! Tyler is getting his preparations in order for ours! :)

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