A day’s work

I’ve been wanting to plant a real garden for a long time, basically since we moved into this house. I’ve had flower-box gardens before, and every spring I do a fairly decent job of keeping a basil plant alive and thriving for my cooking.

I’m learning more and more about gardening and yard work, mostly by trial and error. But I think I’m getting it. My thumb is getting a little greener with each plant I keep alive. And look how good my pink whatever-they-are flowers are doing! Bright and happy, right?

I decided today is the day. It’s a lovely saturday, why waste it indoors? Especially since there’s only a precious few weeks left of bearable weather.

I decided on an herb/tomato garden. These need full sunlight. I considered many spots in the yard before settling on this one. Here it is before:

Lots of sun, brick edging already laid.

Now here it is after:

I picked up some basil, oregano and a tomato plant, along with some more potting mix. (Hey, I am still no professional, I’m not about to fool myself that I can start from seeds on this one.) While I was on my way to the register with my greenery, I spotted a broccoli plant for only $1.50! Woo! My favorite veggie growing in my yard (possibly)? Yes please.

I brought all of this stuff home, threw on my favorite old Bowie t shirt and got to work.

I know that the soil in Arizona is not so much soil as it is dried up old clay dust. I figured I would till it a bit and then mix it with the new potting soil, how hard could that be?

Umm, ridiculously hard. See, underneath the light layer of stones was a layer of dirt, followed by yet another layer of rock and gravel. I did not count on that. It took me about an hour and half to till up the dirt, clear the rocks out and mix the new soil in. My back and my hands are already feeling it. Ugh.

But I did it! I also managed to find two large pieces of edging on the side of our house, so I dug an area and shoved those in to give a more definitive edge to the garden.

I carefully planted each little one of my plants, watering the dirt before and after I got them into the ground.

So here it is! the only little neat spot in the entire wasteland of a back yard.

I have to say I feel pretty proud of this tiny garden. It’s my first real try to grow my own food, and I can’t wait to see if any tomatoes or broccoli decide to show up for me. I did make sure to buy a hybrid tomato plant specifically for hot, dry weather. Not sure that the broccoli will really do anything, but it would be so cool if it did!

Now I’m going to take a nap. Oh yeah. I’m not superwoman, you know.


One response

  1. Yeah, I’m late to the party. But I love your garden! Gardening is good for the soul and sunshine is good for you inside and out. Working with the Earth is important. Which is why I…never do it. I can grow cactus like a mofo, yo. I have some dollar store cacti that were looking tiny and sickly when I bought them in 2006, and now 6 years later they are HUGE and blooming flowers and robust and super healthy. But if I try my hand at any other plant, it dies. For me, it’s Cactus or bust. Torey though, he’s got the green thumb–pretty much everything he plants grows beautifully. You should see his basil and his roses.

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