(with thanks to Pam in Tennessee for the idea.)
Well, this is either Paula's brilliant idea or all her fault. I decided about a week ago I needed to try gardening by the square foot, which she raved about all last year. Friday night, I stuffed the little boys in the new (OK, 10 year old but still beautiful) truck we bought from a friend about a month ago. Ostensibly, it's for one of my sons for a college graduation present next year, but he can't drive stick (I can see myself getting ready for lessons already). But the little boys like it, and my dearly beloved has realized that a pickup truck is quite handy, especially when he doesn't have to bounce around in it.
So, off I went to the local lumber yard Friday night. Some 2x6's, wood lath and 25 bags of potting soil later, I was on my merry way. When I told my dearly how much soil I'd purchased, he bellowed, "That's 1000 pounds! You'll break your truck!" So, I guess we know whose truck it really is, don't we? Anyway, I pointed out to him that if a half ton truck wouldn't haul half a ton of dirt plus a few lousy sticks, Dodge ought to rethink their whole program.
Saturday, we cut up the lumber where necessary, and screwed together two boxes, each 4' by 8'. We had two cordless screw guns, and so were able to teach the boys to operate them. When I demonstrated for Mark how it was done, his reaction was, "Wow! I thought you'd be useless as a carpenter, Mom, but you have some skills!" Yeah, even a girl in a dress can run a screw gun.
Well, after the boxes were assembled and placed, we discovered that we needed more dirt. So, back to the lumberyard Sunday, where I joked with the owner that I was here to clean him out of dirt. 8 bags of potting soil and 4 of cow manure (hey, Ryan was bellowing that we should have it, although he wasn't thrilled about spreading it in the garden beds) later, he really was cleaned out of the locally made soil, and our truck was rolling back up the road to finish our gardens. (And we supported 3 locally owned businesses: the lumber yard, the dirt monger and the manure monger.)
We're using nothing but heirloom seeds this year. If I'm going to all of this trouble, I want tomatoes that taste wonderful, not those lovely gems that look picture perfect and taste like cardboard. I found some at Agway, along with the garden gnome you see in the picture below, and I've ordered the rest. I'll report on their customer service and quality, if anyone cares, at a later time.
Anyway, here's what's planted:
Simpson Black Seeded Lettuce
Nantes mini carrots
Half long carrots
yellow summer squash
Ordered, to be planted when they arrive:
Red Leaf Lettuce
Mesclun Mix Lettuce
Minnesota Midget Melons
Sugar Snap Peas
5 Other kinds of tomatoes (They were a package deal)
If anyone knows how long it takes to grow onions from onion sets, let me know. And some day I'll need to know what to do with kale and swiss chard, but not today.
And, if this isn't enough yard information for all of you, our first flowering tree, a cherry tree, is out in full force as of Friday morning. Many more will bloom this week!