Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Lee and I have known ever since we bought our house that we wanted to start a garden. Our back yard is pretty big (and private) compared to other homes in this neck of the woods, and that was one of the biggest things that sold us on the house. Ever since then, we've been thinking about where our little garden will go. As spring rolled around, we started to take note of which areas of the yard get full sunlight, and decided on the left sideyard, which until now had pretty much been unused space.

First and foremost, Lee wanted a salsa garden, with all the fixins to make homemade salsa - tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, etc. But as we were shopping for our seedlings, we also picked up cucumbers, squash, and basil. Lee used timbers to create a garden bed, we dug up the existing dirt (by far the hardest part), added a mixture of garden soil and top soil, and voila! Here's the empty garden bed:

Sugar was a big help. Not. She just sat there looking cute, you know, for moral support.

And here's the bed with the first seedlings and seeds planted:

Please note, this is not a very big space. Although we could've made the bed much bigger, this was the wood Lee had laying around so this became the size of the garden. But we bought way too many plants and seeds and so everything is planted much closer together than the packets call for. So everything will probably grow together in one big jumble. We did add the stepping stones so that hopefully we'll be able to get to the middle of the garden to pick things once everything has grown up big and tall. This is assuming though that we'll be able to keep all of this hard work alive and growing, which I'm thinking is probably about a 50/50 chance at best.

Here's the garden about a week later:

The only things we bought as seed were the cucumbers and squash, and it was exciting when those first started poking up. We had planted them in mounds, then once they came up we thinned them out and planted in a row:

The idea is to put a trellis behind them once they start to grow tall, to free up some space in the garden. Other than the seeds popping up, not much else has happened. We've been diligent about watering, and we've been lucky to get a lot of rain lately. I think our main problem though will be critters. We live in a neighborhood, but our yard backs up to woods and we've had no shortage of deer, rabbits, and even foxes. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that just as our veggies start to develop, a deer will come and eat them all. I'm trying to prepare myself now so I'm not too disappointed later. We did do some research on deer repellant though and installed a super high-tech repellant device:

Yep, that's soap on a rope. Evidently the smell of the soap is supposed to deter deer. We also read that sprinkling human hair clippings around the garden helps keep critters away. We didn't have any human hair handy, but our dog is shedding like crazy so after we brushed her we sprinkled some of her hair around. I'm pretty sure that counts. 

Speaking of Sugar, you'd think that having a dog in the yard would help keep the animals away, and maybe it will, but Sugar's not exactly a guard dog. She doesn't even bark, she just whines every once in a while. And it's mostly because she wants to come in the house, not because she's protecting the homefront. I think if she saw a deer in the yard she'd try be friends and play with it, not attack it.

Anyway, hopefully our little garden will grow and prosper. And some day soon Lee will get his salsa.

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