Garden? Not Garden? I Chose To Garden!!!!

I took the leap and decided to Garden……

As I shared in Mid May, between the rain, failing seeds and physical issues (pulled out my back and had vertigo, three weeks of barely being able doing anything!) I was totally frustrated with not being able to start my vegetable garden and accomplishing other inspired yard projects.

Well on Sunday Morning, May 20th, I was sitting on my back deck feeling down and overwhelmed, realizing that it was late spring. I started to consider container gardening on the deck as my realistic option, but to see such a spot perfect for vegetables sitting there untouched, was just too much.

Without saying a word to my boyfriend Jim, I got up, walked to the shed, pulled out all the shovels, tools, wheel barrel and garden gloves, and placed them next to the back deck. As lousy as I felt physically, I felt more lousy sitting there staring at what was supposed to be my garden by now.  I could not bear to miss another summer of gardening bliss.

Here are photo’s of before I started and my progress breaking ground!

Here is the area before I created my garden. It has excellent sun here, over 7.5 hours daily, perfect for veggies! This is the best spot in the yard and will be conveniently off the deck, 20 steps from my kitchen!

This is the beginning of my garden, I did not have access to a rototiller so created it the old fashion way with a shovel, muscle and sweat!

There was a good eight inches of top soil to work with! I first started with a 12′ x 8′ in mind, but I soon realized I needed more space for the veggies I love!

Over two days I continued expanding until the garden reached my perfect size of 16′ x 12′! The Iris’s were almost done blooming so those will be cut down and bulbs dug out. I have other flower beds where they will be planted in the fall.

I was breaking ground late, but I knew if I could get the garden established and started by the first week of June it could still be successful.  Luckily, many local nurseries sell healthy “garden ready” organic vegetables and herbs so my failed seedlings didn’t matter.  I could still have my garden!

Happily, I realized our woodchuck has been avoiding this area of the yard now for three weeks. He does not like the presence of people or the activity of the bird feeders attracting more critters and birds to the yard.   His once quiet yard is now one of constant activity and he is now frequenting the large unoccupied lot adjacent to the back of our yard!  This turns the odds in my favor, which is really encouraging.

I have to say it was a battle with rain showers, which slowed down my progress, but the basic foundation of my garden is now established!  It is 12 feet by 16 feet, just right for all the yummy veggies I want.  The fence is over 1 foot deep in the ground, secured with heavy bricks.  The height is 3 1/2 ‘.   I left the top loose so if the wood chuck climbs  it will bow and buckle back due to his weight making him feel like he is falling backwards.  A friend said this worked for him so I am trying it.  I will be sure to let you know how it works out.

Digging this type of fence along with establishing this new garden has been one of the most exhausting challenges I have ever attempted.  But gratefully, with a lot of praying, sweat and tears, I did it!

Here are photo’s of my progress…

The top soil in this yard is excellent, it was a lot of work shaking out the soil, but saved me considerable money on purchasing bags of top soil!

Using affordable chicken wire and fencing posts I put up the fence. This required a lot of deep digging for the heavy bricks that would secure the fence under the ground ( discouraging digging! ) Placed fencing on outside on posts, so the loose top would flop out when climbed, making a wood chuck fall backs enough to discourage climbing. This worked for a friend, hopefully it will work for me as well!

Yesterday, I planted tomatoes, peppers, cukes and zucchini,  the rest will go in over the next few days as each bed area is prepped and completed.   I still need to put in a walking path with patio bricks, add more fertilizer and mulch but the basic garden is here…..I can now blissfully play and noodle in my vegetable garden to my heart’s content!

What a blessing to have this little piece of heaven in my backyard.

I cut and removed the Iris bulbs (to plant in other flower beds in the fall), then put up the rest of the fence and cultivated the areas where the zucchini, cucumber, Peppers and tomatoes were planned to go. I did not finish getting them in till late yesterday eve. We are getting heavy rain here today so will finish the rest of the planting within the next few days. Still have the patio blocks and additional mulch to add as well.