Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting Started in the Garden

Last September, I got to see a dream come true when we moved from an apartment to an actual house with a fenced yard and room for a garden.  We still rent, so I had to specifically ask for a clause to be inserted into the lease to allow me to do whatever I wanted with the yard.  I did some preliminary work in the fall, but I knew most of it would have to wait for spring.

I started by identifying which portions of the yard I planned to use for gardening.  Then, I took grass clippings and spread them over the areas where I wanted to garden.  Grass clippings are very effective as a mulch of sorts because the clippings give off gases that warm the ground underneath and eventually kill whatever is under them.  I used the clippings to kill weeds and overgrown grass in my garden area.

A few days ago, I took advantage of a beautiful day in Virginia to do some gardening at long last.  I started with the area where I plan to do most of our vegetable garden.  Even after lying under grass clippings all winter long, some of the grass was still going strong.  I had to really hack away at the roots to get it cleared properly, so I started with a small area.

 Future Vegetable Garden in State of Disaster

After I had enough room cleared, I started some peas in the back and spinach in the front, then added a thin layer of plant food to help kickstart growth.  I was thrilled to discover a big, beautiful trellis wrapped around a pre-existing rose bush.  Jesse managed to wrestle it free from the rose bush so we could use it for the peas instead.  (Peas do best if they have something to climb as they grow.)

A little progress: Peas and spinach have been planted!

There is A LOT of work to do, and being pregnant means I have to be more careful to not overly exert myself, but I am just so excited to finally be working on my very own garden.  I ordered some blueberry bushes, which should arrive some time this week, and I started eggplant, broccoli, and brussels sprouts inside to give them a good start before moving them out.  I can hardly wait until little shoots start springing out of the ground!

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