Garden talk: Getting started

18 May

We had very few requirements when we looked at apartments and houses for rent in Dixon last fall. We wanted a place with at least two bedrooms and a small yard, if possible. We found our house and got not only a nice sized yard but a large garden area in the full sun behind the garage.

I’ve always wanted a garden. I’ve tried to grow herbs in containers at almost every apartment. But I’ve failed miserably every time. I’ve yet to figure out if my thumb is green or black!

We took the garden space at the new house as a sign we were supposed to give it a go and dove in head (hands?) first last weekend.

As soon as the weather was consistently mild and just about every threat of frost had gone, which this year was sometime in April, we pulled out old plants and weeds, then dug up and turned over the soil in the garden.

A few weeks later, we noticed weeds shot up in the garden, some as short as a couple inches and some as tall as a 12 inches.

Garden

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Last weekend, with the weather in the 70s, the sun shining and the clouds threatening to bring rain in the evening, we pulled weeds, then again dug up and turned over the soil in the garden. Then, we positioned our plants and seeds and got everything in the ground with a bit of slow-release fertilizer. At the same time, we relocated a bird bath and our compost bin to create a garden “area” in our backyard.

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It’s been very warm—even hot—and dry here, so we’ve been watering the garden (and the lawn, which is a sad, patchy brown) twice daily.

I noticed the other day that one of the greens we planted—the arugula, I think—had sprouted through the dry, crumbly earth. I’m hopeful that if delicate greens can make it, then the more established plants can make it, too.

We spent only about $40 on the garden—not including the bit of money we spent on shovels and gloves several weeks ago. We wanted to keep it on the cheap as much as possible, in case we do indeed have black thumbs, but we are very anxious to see the return on our small investment, in the event we are successful.

Here’s to garden-friendly weather and a summer of fresh, homegrown vegetables!

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