***Posted by Kyle
Yesterday, our friend Kelly came over to our house to help me with the installation of our garden. Now, keep in mind we have never had a garden before. I once killed a cactus. This might really be an adventure, or it might be a collossal mistake. At any rate, if you are planning on starting your own garden, I wanted to let you know what you are in for. It's a really good workout- digging holes and hacking at roots takes a lot of energy and sweat. Hopefully the fruits (or in this instance vegetables) of your labors will be worth it. It is also something that is wildly uncertain. Things like bad soil composition, a cold night, rabbits, birds, squirrels, planting at the wrong time, too much sun, too little sun, too much rain, too little rain, etc, etc, etc can flat out ruin your chances of growing anything. If nothing else, I learned a ton.
Here is a pic of the corner of our yard that we decided to use for the garden. The plot that you will see in the next few pics is about 7' x 12'.
The first (and most difficult) thing to do was to remove the sod in the area that we were going to use. Here's Kelly, smiling about it:
After that, if you don't have a tiller, you basically dig down into the area that you are using, creating about 6" of loose soil. The hard part here was cutting through all of the old roots from my neighbor's dead trees. Fortunately, Kelly kept saying what good soil we have!
After adding all kinds of stuff to the soil (cotton burr, some clay stuff for baseball infields, chicken manure, and some other things that I have no idea what they were), we created two rows with a gully between them to plant the garden in:
Next, you just put the plants and the seeds in the ground. This really was the easy part. We put in a couple of different kinds of tomatoes, basil, oregano, cilantro, celery, sweet peppers, jalapenos, and some other stuff that I am super excited to use in Ninja-Friendly dishes!
At this point, we were about 2 1/2 hours into the project, and already exhausted. Kelly left, and I don't blame her! Let me give her a huge, huge THANK YOU for all of her help!
After that, I went inside, sat down for a minute to watch the first inning of the Cardinals game, then got back up to finish the job. I had to go to Lowes and get fencing to put up around the garden, as we have several "wascally wabbits" in the yard that would love to chow down on the buffet I had just provided them. I put up a small fence around the garden, cleaned up, and I was basically done.
I do still have to get some burlap to put over the seeded areas, which I will do today, and I have to get the most important piece: a garden gnome.
I'm sure this garden will give us a lot more fodder to blog about in the near future. Stay tuned! We will be at a family reunion this weekend, as well as my Dad's birthday and retirement celebration. On Monday, I will try to put up a recipe that we just discovered out of Cooking Light for a Shrimp and Grits Casserole that was awesome!