I’ve decided to kill some more plants this year! I’ve started a garden and have high hopes this year. We have terrible soil and little to no drainage (our backyard resembles a swamp the 3 days a year we get rain) so RaptorDad suggested raised beds when I insisted that this was going to be the year that I conquered gardening. We’re going with something called lasagna gardening which I gather means we’re putting down various layers of stuff.
I went to Lowe’s armed with a rather daunting shopping list, but they were quite nice and loaded everything up for me. My biggest issue? Why does it have to cost *more* to buy dirt without added fertilizer? I didn’t need certified organic potting soil (at 3 times the price) but I couldn’t find any other potting soil without added chemicals. Luckily, RaptorDad actually has some gardening know how and after a few panicky texts he gave me a list so that we could make our own. And yes, next time I’ll drive the hour down to the hippy nursery. I’ve learned my lesson. 😉
Our yard gets zero shade since, in addition to killing small vegetables, I also have a habit of killing trees. ::sigh:: Our next house will definitely include established trees. I know that lots of sun is good for plants, but there’s a limit to what they can take when it’s 107* outside. With this in mind, RaptorDad built me a rectangle out of reclaimed wood (thanks craigslist!) in our side yard so that it would get some shade from the house and the fence. Fingers crossed! I removed all of the stickers and tape from some cardboard boxes we had laying around (we order way too many things from Amazon, but we’ve been sucked in by free 2 day shipping) and put them down as the first layer. We then wet them thoroughly.
The next layer was some dried out grass clipping and our failed compost. We recently started composting again and I’m really hoping we can keep up with it. I’d like to add more raised beds every year and dirt is surprisingly expensive! Not to mention we’re trying to reduce the amount of trash that we produce.
After that came a couple of bags of pea gravel and some play sand. Apparently this will help with drainage.
Obligatory adorable picture of Kate. She is so excited to help with the garden. She was a little perturbed that we had to wait for actual veggies though. She’s into instant gratification just like her mom.
Our next layer was top soil, compost, and vermiculite. We mixed all of those together to get what I assume is essentially potting soil.
Then plants! So far I’ve planted 1 orange tomato, one squash, 1 green bean, and 1 okra. Everyone says that the things to grow are tomatoes and peppers, but I figured we’d be better off growing things we would actually eat and there’s no way in the world Kate is eating jalapeños. I’m not sure how that happened since I’m pretty sure that her amniotic fluid was at least 50% salsa, but there you have it.
Incidentally, I’m writing this blog post on Thursday and we planted the garden on Wednesday. So I’ve already kept the plants alive 1 whole day! That may not sound like much, but it’s better than last year so I’m putting it in the win column. Any other suggestions for things to plant? Or is it better to just put in several of each kind of plant? I’d like some variety, but I also don’t want to end up with 1 green bean. Who am I kidding. I would be *thrilled* to get one green bean, but you get my point.