Saturday, February 19, 2011

A work in progress

Whew.  Today has been a day.  A fun day, but a very tiring day.  We decided that we would start a new project for our family - a square foot garden.  My sister in law Gina and her husband Andy started one last year (and lived to blog about it!) and their results were fabulous.  I was quite encouraged, so John and I decided that doing our garden in square boxes was also the way to go.  A few weeks ago I ordered Mel Bartholomew's book All New Square Foot Garden, read everything, and today we started clearing the space we had designated for our home grown produce. 

It had rained a couple of days ago, so instead of rock hard dirt it was actually a tad moist.  It made for digging out the square blocks and ripping up the weeds a bit easier.  But just a bit.  There were a total of 36 18x18 cement squares that had to be removed.  John cleared all of them out.

While he removed the squares I started digging out the weeds.  Sod had been laid when the house was built, so all of it had to be dug up and removed...even the green mesh.  I should mention that it was NOT grass but weeds.  No one watered the grass after the previous owners moved out, so all the sod died and weeds took over.

It was an unbelievable amount of work.  My arms are simply aching now.  John's too. 

I should mention that after I cleared about 3/4 of this I went inside to make lunch.  John finished digging out the rest, and I shoveled it into the pile. 

And here is the cleared area!  John sketched out a rough design of what we'd like the area to look like, with the garden beds on the right (it's hard to see the ones in the back), a bench complete with trellis on the left, and posts to hang flowers at other various spots throughout.  I'd like some bird feeders and bird baths as well, but goodness gracious!  We have an insane amount of pidgins that live in our neighborhood...I'd hate to actually provide a respite for them!  So, I'm still debating that idea.  For now, I'm thinking NO.

I can't wait for our arms to get back to normal so we can start laying the gravel, walkway, and building the boxes.  This is going to be such a fun project not only for us, but also for the kids.  William and I have already been reading books about seeds, plants, and gardens.

As if this wasn't enough for the day, John, my hero! finished the last shelf in Abby's room!  It is now hung and pretty much done.  I'm still waiting for my curtain order to come in, then I'll share some pictures.  But for now...Abby is back to sleeping in her own room!


Gina said...

VERRRRRRY nice! We're hoping to get our Snow Peas in the ground tomorrow, ready for Year #2 of Square Foot Gardening (SFG)!! Can't wait to share this experience together with you guys this season =)

Your mapped out garden area is great... looks like a very nice setting.

And we LOVE your UT hat, Leah... GO VOLS!!

Love ya, G&A

Deborah Adams of Possible Impossibilities Studio. Long Beach, California. said...

Oh Wow! What an amazing project and how wonderful it's going to be! Who needs a gym when you have a garden! lol Thats alot of work that you've done already, but you'll be so happy when it all starts sprouting forth with deliciousness! :-) It's looking super!

Grandma A said...


Kim H said...

What a project! You guys are really ambitious and hard working, I can't believe you cleared all that AND worked on Abby's room! I hope you have a great spring and summer to bring forth a great crop. Our tomatoes didn't do so well last year with the weather never getting hot, hopefully you'll do better being in the central desert heat. Still trying to figure out what does well up here (besides zucchini). We have snow peas planted in our raised bed too, let's hope all of ours does well!

Audra said...

This is really cool! I will have to look that book up. What are you going to grow? We just have our large garden. I think we are going to keep it this year and then maybe downsize next year (we can't keep up with weeding). Maybe I should read that book and do smaller gardens all over. We have a hard time growing things as well...bad soil I guess. I think this year we are going to do corn, tomatoes, some beans and grapes. I'm not a veggie person. Maybe I'll do some peppers and what not for salsa...I don't like it but Dave loves it.