Friday, May 6, 2011

Adventures in Gardening

Isn't it funny how once you're out on your own, your parents suddenly get even smarter? When I was in high school, my parents grew the most incredible garden in our side yard. I was usually too "busy" with homework to help (it's such a convenient time to do homework when your parents are slaving in the hot sun to weed and manure the garden...). Now that I'm out on my own, paying for my own groceries and missing the taste of fresh vegetables...lets just say I wish the homework had waited. So, despite the fact that my parents are wonderful gardeners, I'm totally making this up as I go.

Our fist major gardening challenge is the fact that we only have a 10' by 20' rectangle of our yard that gets full sunlight. The rest is shaded by a gorgeous maple 95% of the day. Now, this may sound like a decent sized garden, until you consider much of it was already planted with flowers and bushes by the previous owners. I realize we could just rip those things out, but I happen to think they're beautiful so we're trying to co-exist.


Our tangible journey towards gardening began about a month ago when Money Saving Mom featured a deal where you could pay $5 shipping and receive 30 random seed packets from an organic seed company. Sold. Our seeds arrived with about 10 packets of lettuce, another 10 of an assortment of veggies, 5 packets of herbs, and 5 flowers. Apparently we would be growing lots of lettuce. I know nothing about growing lettuce. So I went to the most reliable information source, the internet, and did some reading. These are the basics I came away with: sow 2 lettuce seeds/inch, water consistently, and thin out the plants as they pop up so you're heads grow 8-12 inches apart (thinnings can be used in salad, yum!).

So armed with that mighty body of knowledge I had David dig up the grass in the yard, dig a few trenches that I filled with potting soil, dug an itty bitty trench with my trowel, dropped the seeds in, covered them up and watered them. Are you aware that a lettuce seed is about the size of the period at the end of a sentence? I found it almost impossible to drop only 2 per inch. I was lucky if there were only 3. It's survival of the fittest in our garden for sure.

Breaking ground on our garden

Planting. And yes, I am wearing ear muffs. It was 65 degrees and crazy windy. I have sensitive ears, ok?

Finished. Check out my awesome sticks marking each row. I'm planning to replace those with Popsicle sticks with the lettuce type's name on them. Each row is a different type.

The heads won't come to maturity for about 2 months according to the back of the seed packet, but I'm sure we'll have thinnings to eat on before then. Assuming anything grows that is.

Here are some more pictures of the project (and of our littlest big helper!)

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