Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?

This is our first spring on our farm and we are diving right in! We plowed (tilled? I don't know the difference!) our garden this weekend. We have the luxury of having a lot of space and a blank slate. Trying to determine which vegetables, plants, trees and flowers to grow is daunting! Where to start? Where should we put everything? How big should we make the vegetable garden? How big is manageable? So many questions!

Here's what we did

A few weeks ago we marked out our area. We used steaks and string, very high-tech I know! Scribs sprayed grass and weed killer on the inside of our fancy string square and we waited. After a few days, nothing happened! I was starting to think that it wasn't going to work. I'm impatient, can you tell? Then slowly, slowly the whole square started turning brown. Except where we missed. Oops!

Next came fertilizing, we laid some… whatever we had in the barn. We were told to use 16-16-16, but what we had on hand would work.

Spreading the compost was the next step. Holy Moly this was HARD work. It took me a week of nap times to get it done, probably close to 8 hours total. Shoveling the compost from the pile into the wheelbarrow, move it to the garden, dump and spread. Repeat nine thousand times. I used almost all the compost we had and it's a little light in spots, but once it all gets mixed in I think it'll be just fine!

This weekend we rented a Dingo to get everything mixed and tilled. Let me tell you, this thing is a beast! And it turned out of be a disaster on the first day. The ground was wet, the compost was went and the treads just dug in. I'm talking 8" deep dug in. We had such high hopes after watching videos about how well this guy worked. Its our fault for using it while it was wet, but when you rent it and it rains, what else are you going to do? There's no refund for bad weather. Day 2 the disaster continued. We tried for about 5 minutes, took 2 hours getting it unstuck and called it a day. If it hadn't been raining and we had nice dry ground I think it would have worked wonders!

As you can see, what a mess. A few hundred pounds of wet stuck mud, no wonder it sunk! 2 more hours of cleaning the mess and Scribs called someone from Craigslist. No more than $100, sounds good to me. Well worth it to not have to deal with this mess! I will say he did a great job and only charged us $75!

tilled garden

Back by the wheelbarrow is whats left of the compost dune. It was piled high from the wheelbarrow to the grass pile. I'll be moving whats left and planting strawberries in that space. Just above the tumbler in the picture is where the new compost pile will be.

Looks great, doesn't it? The freshly cut grass definitely helps! Am I the only one who finds cutting the grass relaxing and very satisfying?

Up next, making our rows, planting our plants and tending to our garden! I'm glad I'll have two little helpers!

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