Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden Tuesday

(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
Burpless Cucumbers
Nantes mini carrots
Half long carrots
Pink tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Dark zucchini
yellow summer squash

Ordered, to be planted when they arrive:

Red Leaf Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Yellow Tomatoes
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!


Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your cheery tree is breath taking Marjie!

I can't wait to see how your garden does. This will be a great learning experience for the boys and they look like they are thrilled to be doing all of this with you. Your picky eater may even eat something he's grown!

SissySees said...

Sounds like a great project! Can't wait for the next update...

Pam said...

You make me want to start a garden! I can't wait to see how the garden does.

buffalodick said...

I'm no farmer, but sure am glad somebody is!

mamafitz said...

oh it looks lovely! calvin and i need to build our raised beds still (but here we can't put anything outside until memorial day, so we've got time). i bet your picky eater will eat stuff he's grown -- that's how calvin fell in love w/broccoli. i finally told him to stop eating it out of the garden or we weren't going to have a harvest!

i'm transplanting my watermelon seedlings into newspaper pots today, and started some heirloom tomatoes and tomatillos.

Unknown said...

Wow - I can't wait to see what you do with the kale and swiss chard either. I'm thinking of planting some this year.

Your garden boxes look lovely. I'll have to look into that. We also grow squash - because I love it. g

Anette said...

Thats great! You will have to post regularly about how it goes/grows. And "burpless cucumber", I've never heard of that!

Paula said...

Yeah! Your boxes look totally awesome! Love your selection of veggies, too. You just won't believe how much bounty your going to be getting! How great, too, that your boys were involved in this project. It's a lot of physical labor with the initial set up. The hardest part is getting it set up; now it's good to go until harvest time! Hope the deer stay away. Love your little garden gnome, too! Seeing all of those pictures put a huge smile on my face. You know what I really get a kick out of? The mental image of little bitty you, in a dress plus jewelry, driving a 1/2 ton truck loaded with gardening supplies! :-) Here's to amazing garden bounty and Garden Tuesday's! (I think I'll participate, too. Of course it's raining right now, but maybe it'll clear off this afternoon.)

noble pig said...

I can't wait to see how it goes, I should seriously plant a gardent his year!

Christo Gonzales said...

jealous - who me? this looks so GREAT!

monica said...

wonderful tree ! I am impressed with all the garden energy and look forward to follow the harvest.

Annette said...

Pumpkins! What about pumpkins? You've got to grow your own for Halloween! A neighbor of mine told me to use fish emulsion. It works. Then you can save the seeds for next year.
Have fun with the garden!

Anonymous said...

LOL I like your comment on the use of a half ton. We're no where near planting a garden yet. I'm envious. Maybe I could borrow a couple of boys..........?

The Blonde Duck said...

I want a truck. And a garden. Ben planted some jalepenos and chilies, so I forsee lots of Mexican food! Yum!

Ann Made Studio said...

Your raised garden beds look "great". What a wonderful family project.
That cherry tree looks awesome!

pam said...

I am so impressed! I can't wait to watch your garden grow!!!

I only attempt herbs, hot peppers, and this year I'm trying tomatillos.

cidell said...

Whimper. I am so painfully jealous I'm going to have to click right off your blog.