Gardening from Scratch

garlic and onions

Its that time of the year again. Planting my garden veggies. I took last year off do to the wedding, honeymoon and trip to China with my mom, so this year I was super excited to get back into the garden.

I started a whole new bed this year so I thought I’d share the process.  I am NOT an expert, but have picked up a few skills and knowledge along the way.


Part of the area had old weed mat and part had turf, so first, I had to remove all that and get the area clear. Super important to get as much of the turf and weeds out of there as possible so it doesn’t pop up later to wreak havoc.

Then comes the shoveling. Plants love loose soil to spread their roots out and get comfy so I want to use the shovel to rotate the soil. 12 inches is a good depth. This is WAY easier if the soil is damp! We have a tiller attachment to our weed wacker so we used that to break up all the big clumps that were turned up. This is also when I added a soil conditioner.

Now I’m ready for planning the garden. This year I chose to do simple rows, so I took out my tape measurer and created row with this tool, 12 inches apart. I tend to crowd my garden so I don’t know if this is really the appropriate distance. I kept the area towards the back untouched with row, because that is where the lead drip line and some containers will go.

Picking my veggies

Zach and I choose to do mostly greens this year and added a few veggies I love to grow (tomatoes and onions), a new one (celery),  one that has been a challenge (asparagus)

I always refer to the instructions of each veggie to know how far to space them, but I also sometimes don’t listen to the advise! Since I know I will be cutting down green before they fully mature, I usually plant them closer together than instructed.

Drip lines save me!

I get so tired of watering, and my poor garden has paid the price in past years. So, last year I started switching everything over to drip lines (my berries and fruit trees from the year before).

I ran a lead hose from the spicket across the full width of the garden and put a cap to pressurise the system. At about the center line for each row I used a tool designed to punch a hole in the lead line and attached a barbed connector. I chose an intermittent pre wholed feeder line to run the distance of the rows. For the containers I used the same line inside the container but used a solid feeder to go from the lead line to the top of the container (this way there is no water wasted as the line travels up the container). Pressurize each end! I secured all the lines with metal U shaped stakes.

Turn the water on and test it out. The first time I did, I saw that a lot of water was escaping ‘down the hill,’ so I added some compost to each row to make them a little wider and used my finger to create a little channel for the water to sit in.

I also went around the rest of my yard and did some maintenance on the drip lines and added some strawberries to the containers. The other berries are loving their new home. Last year I had them in smaller containers and neglected them a bit. Back in February I moved them to wine barrels and with all the rain we’ve got this spring, they are in heaven. I had to put trellis’ in one because of how excited it is to be alive.

As a vegan, what do I do for slugs and snails you may ask.

Well, I use the nature around me and waste from my kitchen. I have a few bird feeders around the garden to encourage the birds to hang around and snack. I have cats so I have to be very careful where I put the feeders, I dont put them anywhere where the cats can stalk and get to the birds. From the kitchen I use coffee grounds and citrus peels. The grounds are uncomfortable for the snails and slugs to move across. The peels attract the little buggers and then I move them to another part of the yard. Mulch can also be used, as it is also uncomfortable for them to move across. Copper is another material the snail and slug don’t want to move across.

Homegrown

Walking out the back door to grab fresh fruit and veggies from the garden is an exceptional feeling. It brings me joy and satisfaction that I am using my land as God intended. And sharing what we’ve grown is medicine for the soul. May this year’s garden be blessed with health and strong yields.

Thank you for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired you to start your own garden! For more spring inspiration check out this post

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