Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny...

For the past several days I have been getting out in the back yard at nap times and working on my garden. When I suddenly got spring garden fever last Friday, I did a little research and found that some of the things that I want to plant this spring need to be already planted or planted very soon. So, I had to start figuring out where I want everything to go this year, how to best use the space I have, and how not to spend a ton of money in the process. I was reminded that, though extremely rocky, our back yard has areas where the soil is absolutely DIVINE, and perfect for planting (once you remove the rocks). Because I didn't want to spend a ton of money on building another raised bed and filling it with new soil, I decided to confiscate the back corner of the yard for some of the bigger plants I want to grow.

{do you hear me zucchini? I'm gonna put you in your place!}

In the corner I would like to put the zucchini, maybe some onion and possibly some green beans (pole) if I can find some trellis for them to climb (anybody tossing some old trellis? I'll take it off your hands!). I would also like to plant a couple of berry bushes (possibly blackberries and raspberries) and an apple tree, but I have to come up with the money to purchase those first.

I may have to put the berry bushes and apple tree in the side yard though - I don't want to deal with all the bees they will attract. The regular garden is bad enough about that.

So, like I said, each day at nap time I throw on a jacket, grab the shovel and go to work. Oh. My. Aching. Back.

But it is so worth it. I pulled out a big, obnoxious bush/plant/viney/weird thing out of the corner (well, Hubby did most of the pulling, but I helped) and I cleared out a lot of the weeds and rocks and wood pieces and trash that had accumulated there over the years. It is amazing what kinds of things hide in yard brush. I think the dog thought it was her own personal toy box.

The rocks are the biggest obstacle. Their size varies from silver dollar to human head and so it is difficult to unearth them. On Sunday I thought I had struck a pipe. I was, after all, digging along the fence line. And though I was only a few inches down in the soil, I was afraid that perhaps over time the yard had eroded and I was really close to something I shouldn't be. It was enough to stop me for the day, and when I came back to it the next day I was happy to find that it was only a very large number of rocks. Thankfully with some digging I should be able to get them out of there. When pulling the weeds, I thought some of them looked vaguely like herbs and sure enough, after digging down a little further, I uncovered some old plant information tabs (like what they put in the pots at the garden center to identify the plants) that someone had left in the ground. I am guessing there were several kinds of herbs planted there at one time, and the "weeds" left were from those plantings. I also unearthed a bunch of wild onion, which kind of irked me because I can't seem to get onion to grow in my planted beds. Oh well.

I have one raised bed completely empty. I think it is going to be a bean bed. I want to have lots of bean plants this year. I really enjoyed growing those last spring and fall. The other bed will be for tomatoes, peppers and basil, along with the things already taking up half the space. Right now in there I have garlic, carrots, onion, broccoli and spinach. Yesterday I planted a few more broccoli seeds, some spinach seeds and some lettuce seeds. I have peppers and tomatoes hopefully sprouting in starter "pots" (an old egg carton) on top of my refrigerator. They should be ready to transplant by their plant dates in early March.

My garlic is doing well. Though had I thought it through a little I would have planted them off to the side of one of the beds. They have to be in the ground until almost summer. There are a couple of baby spinach plants in the background of the image below. They survived the freeze too. I planted some new seeds around them yesterday. Hopefully I can get a decent crop of spinach this year.
And the carrots also survived the freezes we had, though I am not sure they are actually going to grow anything. They have been in the ground since October I think.
But this little guy, oh I have such high hopes for him! I was about to pull this plant because I thought that it was never going to grow anything. I was very surprised when I took a closer look. Can you see it?
Here, let me help you...
eeeeeeee!!!! (now imagine me saying this in a high, squeaky voice) It's a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty baby broccoli!!! *big toothy grin*

I just love gardening.

D :)


Jamielouwho said...

How awesome to unearth someone's treasures from who knows when!! Are you going to transplant them to your garden or keep them there?
And look at that baby broccoli!!! How precious! You're really making me want to start planting, Dawn.

Jamielouwho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

Tiny broccoli = very cute broccoli

Your garden is already looking good.

jhjohnstone said...

Great job on your gardening! I hope it rewards you with lots and lots of wonderful food throughout the year.

Barb said...

I can't believe that you can garden at this time of year. Very jealous here!

Love the new look of the page btw.

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