Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Everything I Know About Gardening Would Fit In A Seed Packet

Yesterday afternoon turned out better than the horrible morning I had, then by last night, a hot lavender-scented bath and few pages of a good book fixed me right up.

Today, I'm going to talk about gardening. Shane and I have decided to try a little vegetable gardening this year.

Neither of us know much about gardening, although our few previous attempts were fairly successful. We know that you plant seeds or seedlings in the ground, which are supposed to grow and produce vegetables (or flowers or pretty green plants). We know there are different methods (organic, non-organic, in-ground, container, raised bed, etc.). Unfortunately, Shane doesn't have time to do research and as much as I love to read, I have little patience for reading about gardening.

So, we've decided on the raised-bed, semi-organic, by-the-seat-of-your-pants method of growing food. This method doesn't do much to ensure success, but I always learn better by doing than by reading, so it's right up my alley. Our topsoil is not organic. Some of our seeds and seedlings are organic; others aren't. However, we will be using organic practices otherwise (no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides). We'll also be using our own compost that's been "cooking" for the past several months. We'll study up if we can find the time and inclination, but for the most part, we're going to plant, weed, and water...then hope for the best.

To begin with, we had a load of top-soil delivered last Saturday. Here it is sitting in a low spot in our front yard. (Our thinking was that any dirt leftover will be used to fill in this spot.)

Just after it was delivered, it started raining, so we tarped it over. Shane also had to put away the lumber he was going to use to make the raised beds. Our next best chance to do any gardening will be this weekend.

We had to pay for the soil, but we have plenty of lumber leftover from previous projects and all the hand tools and garden tools we need. I bought most of our seeds, but did save a few from last year's CSA veggies. We've bought a few bedding plants and will buy a few more. All told, we expect to invest about $400 in our gardening efforts this year. We aren't sure we will save any money -- or even break even -- this year, but feel confident that we will by next year.

By the time the growing season's over, we'll either have a great learning experience behind us or a few good laughs at our own expense. It's a win-win situation.


Money Funk said...

Ah, the funs of gardening. I have only done it a few times, but with moderate success. Each year gets better with practice and lessons learned.

This year I started a garden and I was defeated early in the process. My fellow cat and his friends decided to start using it as a litter box! Now, I have to tear the whole thing down and start again. But, I have learned how to hopefully keep them away with a spray of cayenne pepper (not suppose to affect the plants). Will see!

Good luck on your garden!

Leanne said...

My method tends to be filling pots with dirt (doesn't matter what kind) and then randomly throwing seeds (from a great distance) at the pots and hoping for the best.

Seems to work ok, but then in Ireland the greenest grass grows on brick walls so I can get away with a lot more:)

Jenelle said...

I couldn't help but laugh! Your approach seems to be just like mine! My husband bought me some great gardening books but after about 5 minutes of soil temp and ph and WHAT????? Had to put it down. We have a raised bed and I filled it with dirt. This weekend I'll poke some seads in, and give it a little water. Hopefully we get some veggies out of it. :)