Monday, March 25, 2013

The Family Garden

After weeks of preparation and planning, we spent our weekend planting our spring 
vegetable garden.  I've been begging Shawn to build me a raised bed garden for years now 
and my sweet husband finally delivered.  I wanted a raised bed because they provide 
better drainage for your soil, are easier to maintain and keep free from weeds, retain heat 
in the soil for more and extended yield, and have less soil impaction thanks to the lack of 
foot traffic.  I searched YouTube and Pinterest for tutorials on the most cost efficient and 
easy how-to guides on how to build the beds.  We found this one and this one to be the 
most helpful.  Shawn and my dad built the beds in less than an hour using (2) 10 feet long 
2x12s and (2) 6 feet long 2x12s.  We found a flat piece of land that gets plenty of sun next 
to our barn, the perfect spot because we have access to water only a few feet away.  
We measured off the area we planned to use and then tilled and turned the soil several 
weeks before we planted, giving the sun time to kill off the grass and weeds. 


After the soil was was turned and the grass removed, we put our new bed in place and 
began filling it.  We laid down a layer of our homegrown compost first and then topped it 
off with moisture control gardening soil.  The Louisiana skies delivered the perfect rain 
storm the day before we planted, getting everything nice and wet for our new plants.

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Next comes the really fun part: deciding what yummy things we would grow!  I used the 
Better Homes and Garden online tool to design our garden plan.  Having a plan is important 
to keep you on task and organized and ensure that you place your plants in the right place 
for optimal growth.

As much as I love gardening, I will be completely honest and admit that I take short cuts.  
The whole full-time job thing pretty much guarantees that every area of my domesticated 
life involves short-cuts, no shame in my game.  Rather than start my garden with seedlings 
I started indoors and then transferred to ground, I buy my plants as little babies all ready 
to plant.  It is a more costly way to garden but a time saver: my whole life is about time 
savers.  I shop at local nurseries and value the knowledge and advice of the 
experienced gardeners I have been blessed to befriend at my favorite places.  On Friday, 
I visited my favorite nursery and brought a copy of my garden plan and the dimensions of 
my bed with me to help choose the right amount of plants.  Of course, I went 
overboard anyway.  What can I say, I got excited surrounded by all of those green beauties!

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We woke up on Saturday morning very thankful that the predicted rainstorm had not 
yet arrived.  We put on our rubber boots, gathered our gardening tools, and ran outside to 
put our newly purchased plants in the ground.  The girls were so excited and had the best 
time getting dirty and doing their part to build our family garden.

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After getting everything planted, we watered the bed thoroughly, sat back, and admired 
our work!  Shawn set up two sprinklers on either side of the bed that we'll use each 
afternoon to ensure that our girls get all the moisture they need.  Isabelle placed tags in 
each row to help her remember which plants are which.  We spent the rest of the day 
pruning our rosebushes, trimming hedges, and taking rides around the yard on the John 
Deere.  My dad came over to help Shawn chop down a few trees and repair the 
tire swing out front.  When the sun finally set, I rewarded everyone with a  big pot of beef 
and veggie soup with a side of corn bread.  And just as we were showered and tucking the 
girls into bed, the sky opened up and the promised rain storm came pouring down: a 
good omen for our hard day's work.  Happy spring from our family to yours!

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Sara said...

I can't believe you are gardening in shorts when we have a foot of snow, but it looks great! I hope you'll share more photos as it begins to fill out and produce in the months to come. Glad you finally go the raised bed you dreamed of. :)

Olivia said...

If it makes you feel any better, the temps actually dropped yesterday and we're back to wearing pants! It is pretty wild that there's still so much snow up north and we have flowers blooming here! I will definitely post updates and maybe even some yummy recipes, too!

Lucy The Valiant said...

Awesome! I love that it waited to rain until AFTER all your hard work was finished!

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