Are you ready?
It's time to get started!!
The official kick-off to gardening season has well and truly arrived to my mountain top home!
I couldn't be happier, even though I know I am in for months of hard....yet very rewarding....work.
You know I've been prepping the veggie garden for a while now, working in stages to get it ready for another productive season.
When I do things in stages it doesn't seem so overwhelming....do you tackle big projects in stages also?
Anyway, when I last left off, I had cleaned up the garden and amended the soil - stage 1 was complete.
Next, I removed all the perennial herbs that were in the garden and transplanted them to my new herb garden on the deck.
I also removed all the Ajuga that was taking over the veggie garden.
Don't get me wrong, I love Ajuga. I just think it's better planted in other areas in my garden, rather than taking up valuable real estate in my tiny veggie garden.
The garden was now a blank slate, ready for the next phase.
But, before I could start planting, I had a few final things to do in preparation.
This year I decided to install a drip irrigation system to save myself a little work.
Not that I really mind watering, but when I have many other gardens that need my attention as well, it's nice to have a little help.
I purchased a 75 foot flat soaker hose, thinking this would be more than large enough for my tiny garden. Nope, I had to add another 25 foot hose. Oh well.
Then, in order to be able to have both a soaker hose and a standard hose with a spray nozzle coming off the same leader hose, I bought a splitter.
By the way, that was leader hose....
In case you were confused.
You know what else is confusing? Why would people who loved to garden (like the folks I bought the house from) have only ONE hose spigot?
I had to get a 4 way splitter in order to be able to run hoses to every place I needed one!
Anyway, there's a leader hose (the green one) that goes from this spigot under the deck, creeps along the edges of the patio, and ends up by the veggie garden.
The leader hose is then connected to the two way splitter, with one side being used for the soaker hose and one for the standard hose.
It's not the prettiest setup, but it does the trick.
I had another small leader hose that I hooked into the splitter, and ran it under the fence in the corner. I then attached the soaker hose to that small hose, and started running it around the garden, using large garden staples to secure it.
The garden staples were very easily tapped into the soil with a rubber mallet.
Easy peasy, my favorite.
I'm very pleased with the results!
My sweetie has a water timer he's not using, and he will bring that over so that I don't do what I have often done in a previous home.....which is, turn on the soaker hose and then get busy with something else and forget it's on.
Oops. Not good.
Another thing I had to do before I could start planting was to install a bean tower.
It's a little difficult to get a good photo of it, but it's quite large at the base so I really had to determine where it was going before I planted anything. Not that it's time for planting beans just yet, but it will be, soon enough!
Last year I had the beans planted along that back fence and they grew up the fence and into the lilac and bent it right in half.
Can you see the beans in the top right of this photo from last year's garden? They were insane.
It's amazing the lilac is still alive. When I cut the beans down at the end of the season it bounced back up....incredible.
This is a photo of the back of the veggie garden. That whole mass of green on the left side of the fence is a giant jumble of beans strangling the lilac.
Anyway, this year I looked into other options and found this bean tower over at Gardeners Edge.
It was a very simple assembly - the hardest part was keeping the string from knotting as I was running it up and down the tower. It will be so simple to clean up at the end of the season, snipping the strings and tossing both the strings and the bean vines. Beans are STRONG and it's tough to untangle the vines from a fence....or a lilac! Trust me on this one....it took me hours to undo the vines from that poor lilac.
So, the bean tower is in place, the soaker hose is ready to go....all that's left is to start planting!
There are a few things that I am planting this year that prefer to start off in a cool garden. They are supposed to be planted before the last frost, believe it or not.
Last night after work I planted the following, all from seed except for the red onions:
Red Onions (from onion starts, in the photo below)
Bunching Onions (Scallions)Spinach
I also planted some dried up garlic cloves I had from last year's harvest. I'm not sure they will grow, they may be too far gone....but we'll find out!
I'm beyond excited to see what pops up first!
Meanwhile, the seedlings are doing very well inside, and it won't be that much longer before they join their little friends in the veggie garden.
Which also excites me to no end. I'm lame, remember? It's truly the simple things.
Isn't nature amazing? It just feels like a rebirth every single spring.
By fall, I'm tired and ready to give up the garden gloves for a little rest.
But we have a long way to go until then....and I can't wait to see the results of all my hard work.
What's happening in your little patch of earth these days?