Happy first day of spring! I may not be a fan of summer or very-warm weather, but I just adore spring. My sinuses aren’t too thrilled, but that’s another story.
This first of spring is even more exciting and special for me because I am finally seeing the ideas and desires I have held for so long come to fruition. Especially with regards to the new garden.
I’d been wanting to move the vegetable patch closer to the house and make it bigger (with room for a beehive) and so a few weeks back I got outside and started making it happen. I pushed the kids’ giant wooden swingset about 15 feet from where it was (by myself! And yet I wonder why my neck and shoulder is bothering me so much lately??) and started staking out the outline for fencing.
Then I got to work digging. By hand. Again, by myself.
I’d had the idea that we really needed to move things along if I was going to get the early spring seeds and bulbs into the ground. Our only machinery with a tiller attachment is currently down (and ancient). I didn’t have the funds to hire someone to come with a big tractor, so I grabbed a shovel and went to it. The finished area is just under 1,000 square feet.
I decided I wanted rows of raised beds in this garden because I’ve lost so many plants over the years due to excessive moisture pooling at the roots. In a slightly rounded and raised bed the excess runs down the sides and away.
To do that, I started digging furrows, or trenches. I probably made them too wide and too deep (stubborn digging without a plan isn’t the best idea) but there are now 5 long raised beds out there. They still need to be tilled, since the dirt is nearly solid clay. Thankfully I still have a whole shed full of composted llama and goat poo to mix in. Still, I am concerned I may need to order up some dirt due to the extremely poor quality of the soil I dug out of our ground.
The clay is so hard I had to use a mattock to break it up.
There’s space in the shadier back – side of the garden for the bees to go so they have free access to keep our plantings pollinated.
Soon the onions will go into the ground along with the beets and once they are ready, all of the vegetable seedlings that are currently germinating in the dining room.
This is not nearly as impressive as Caroline’s seed selection! But this represents about 2/3 of what we are planting this year. I’ve ordered onions, seed potatoes, and blueberry and raspberry bushes as well. Come fall we’ll do another crop of late summer vegetables and some things to overwinter.
The biggest challenge in all of this?
Keeping these insatiable scratching and digging and eating machines out of the garden. I’ve got the woven wire up: I just need a gate. Paul has a friend coming out to plan out the logistical part of clearing our wooded acres here and fencing it all in. Hopefully giving the poultry a wider ranging area will make the vegetable patch less of a lure for them.
Hopefully by fall you’ll be hearing me say how sick I am of preserving so many fresh veggies!