Garden Fever – Dreaming Big!

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. ~ David Hobson

For the past several days I have been working on expanding the garden. I know, I have proclaimed from the beginning that I am not a good gardener and as far as a green thumb, mine is black, but the gardening bug has taken hold and taken hold good.

Since deciding to revamp the entire garden, allowing the soil to recoup from three consecutive years of planting potatoes, my plans have mushroomed every time I visit a garden center. First I decided to try growing peppers; then having planted the peppers where I used to grow tomatoes, I thought I’d give planting tomato plants in pots a try; then I built an a-frame to grow my own pickles; next I planted kale and broccoli under the a-frame and Brussel sprouts, acorn squash and zucchini in the other half of the main garden. When will enough be enough?

NEVER! So thinking bigger yet, I decided to expand the garden by a little more than a 1/3 so I could plant beets, carrots and if there’s room, beans — all things I will be able to can, pickle, or freeze. I get all tingly just thinking about it.

Anyway, three days ago I started my project. The first step was to remove the sod that has covered that area for the past 20 years. A sod cutter is a girl’s best friend!

Day 1 – I started the back-breaking chore of removing the grass. After a little more than an hour I came close to clearing half the area I set out to do. The work was harder than I remembered removing sod to be. Either I’m getting old, or grass is getting stronger — I’ll go with the grass is getting stronger.

This is the area I needed to clear of sod.

This is the area I needed to clear of sod.

Day 2 I finished clearing the sod, bagged it for garbage day, and admired my work. There is something to be said for completing a strenuous task. Even my hubby was impressed with my quick progress, so much so, that he actually volunteered to help me with the next step – framing the garden.

This is the area when it was nearly half cleared.  Note I used the brick to help remove some of the dirt from the sod.

This is the area when it was nearly half cleared. Note I used the brick to help remove some of the dirt from the sod.

Day 3 – Off to Home Depot we went to pick up two landscape timbers and four 12“ spikes to secure it to the ground. What would have taken me probably three times as long, hubby managed to finish in 15 minutes.

The completed clearing and framing job.  Now I just need to get some dirt to fill it.

The completed clearing and framing job. Now I just need to get some dirt to fill it.

Doesn’t it look awesome? It might not be too impressive, especially since I don’t have any dirt for it yet, but that’s coming. Hubby went on Craig’s List and found some top soil for a good price including delivery. I’m trying to get that delivery scheduled for Thursday. A yard of dirt will be more than enough to fill the area and I’ll have lots leftover to fill more pots to attempt yet another gardening project I learned about today — planting tomato suckers (more on that in another post).

With the new garden well on its way to completion I decided to do some research on how to make sure my pepper plants remain healthy and fruitful. I learned today that “topping” pepper plants helps them to yield more peppers. In between the rain this afternoon I cut all the branches below the main “V” of the plants. They don’t look as pretty, but hopefully they will be healthier.

One reason that I am so excited about gardening this year is that it isn’t even June and already the plum tree has tiny plums, the Roma tomato plants I planted have tiny tomatoes, and the pepper plants have tiny peppers.

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This early promise of a bountiful harvest is so heartening. For the moment I almost feel like I might be able to do this, and do it right/well, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

6 responses

    • It really is exciting. For some reason this year especially so. In years past I would go out, do the garden and then forget about it. This year it has become an almost compulsion. I can’t wait to get out there every day to do something — even if it’s just to move some of the dirt around a little. It is so calming.

      • That happened to me too, in the beginning.
        I always said that when I found myself gardening through the whole season, and planning my garden during the cold days of winter, that is when I officially became a serious gardener.

  1. Well, I’m already planning for next year. I have ten bags of mulch coming in a couple weeks that I plan on leaving in the bags and placing on another section of grass I want to remove next spring. I figure the bags should kill the grass, making it easier to remove. Then I’m going to plant some fruit bushes in that area. My husband thinks I’m crazy for planning this far ahead. All I know is I don’t want to have to use a sod cutter on healthy grass — it’s back-breaking.

  2. It looks great! And there is nothing as satisfying as seeing the plants start to bear fruit. I understand about the garden plans. It seems the longer you wait, the bigger it gets in your head….

    • That’s for sure. I finished planting yesterday, but have told myself if I find any pots on someone’s curb on garbage day or super cheap at a garage sale, I’ll be picking them up to add more.

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