Catholic Fatherhood, growing in geekiness, holiness and intelligence.

kc0lex (Matthew). Get yours at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How I hope our garden grows!

Well, we have decided to make the plunge and have a vegetable garden this year. This isn't just a simple planting of plants. My wife and I haven't ever had a veggie garden together and we don't have a plot for it in our backyard.Prep So, basically I am working with the grass (and weeds, let us just say that the weed and feed didn't work the best this year). Not a terribly bad proposition, just break through some sod, cultivate the earth and circles and plant some plants. Well, it is going to take a bit more work than that. We have a decent amount of clay in the ground so we will probablyForeman visiting the project have to work in some soil amendments (translate as rotted cow poop/manure)into the ground as well.

However, thanks to my lovely wife we have a solid plan for what is going into the garden and basic layout from my wife and my experience working in heavy construction to stake and work the ground. After laying out the basic idea the foreman and her inspector came out to check what the project was going to look like and I received their approval to go ahead with construction. Originally, we planned on having the garden as an island surrounded by lawn but after discussions with a consultant (translate as my dad) we decided to expand the garden to both fences (translate as cutting down on grass to mow).

Just startingNow, time to bring the heavy equipment in for work. What we have here is a Honda front tined rototiller. The basic idea is to use the machinery to do the hard work of cutting into the ground through the grass, loosen and aerate the soil to make it so we can work it. This step also gives me a good idea of what type (or as it turned out type*S*) of soil to work with. So, off I go, fighting the tiller into the ground as it bucks and fights and just wants to walk across the top of the soil. After finally fighting it down into the ground and making slow headway as it wants to jump out of the ground every time it starts to move forward, hits a concrete chunk, root or piece of clay pipeline laying several inches under the ground. Okay, well, I can handle debrisDeceased friend. but it is slowing things down.

After taking a small break (yes, cereal malt beverage) I came back to the garden and found a small surprise. I believe, if identified correctly, this is a deceased green snake. It appears that I either nicked it with the rototiller or one of the neighborhood birds pecked at it and it was left here for me to find. It was returned to the garden to be picked up by a bird or to be combined down into the soil. The other thing you can see in this shot is how beat up my hands were getting even though I had adopted wearing some leather palmed riding gloves. I was getting the soil turned, it was just turning out to be very tough gardening.

This also shows you the 3 passes that I was able to make for the day before dark rolled around. I didn't start at sunrise butSlow going. I worked until sunset. That was the majority of the work I did on Saturday. Sunday morning we went to Church and had lunch and then I was off to my brother's house to get the missing piece of the rototiller (the depth gauge!!!!). This wonderful little piece of metal was put into place and it pulled the rototiller down into the ground making pass after pass easier, no longer was the rototiller jumping out of the ground every time it hit something hard. It was also awesome that my brother came along to help for a little while cutting down on my time behind the rototiller I have affectionately named "Bouncy". Nice pretty dirtAt last the big moment came and all the soil had been turned.

Will all of this work done and so much more to go I can say that I am excited and still working hard on planning the next steps. I am going to try to work on a new graphic that will show this plot of ground (probably going to need a ladder) and I will overlayLeftovers our plans for cultivation and plants. I can tell you we are planning on having some compost heaps, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, watermelons, various herbs, onions, garlic and a sunflower house (will have to dedicate a post to this when we plant it) for our daughters and their friends to play in. The picture on the left shows some of the roots, clay pipe and chunks of concrete I pulled out and need to pick up. Going to work on getting some composted manure into the ground this week through the weekend. I also need to hand cultivate the front flower beds that have the bulbs coming up in them so that my wife can plant the pretty flowers she has planned in them.

Lastly, we will be staking out the individual beds for plants,laying out compost, placing a short border around this area, fencing this area off and putting plants into the ground. Oh, and I really need to break out the Weed-B-Gon and spray the lawn every 10 days for about a month to get these weeds under control and let the Bermuda perk up and pretty up.

My plan is to take pictures of the various activities we work on and things we plant. Then it will be a matter of keeping everyone posted on the things we do as we begin to harvest. We are starting to research several things about storing all of these things we grow. My dream is that we will be able to get to a point that we can grow enough to cut down our dependence on store bought vegetables so that we don't have to buy the ones that we grow for a large chunk of the year.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great job, Matt! We still have to till the ground. Hopefully, two weekends from now. Emily