In previous years I was perfectly content to leave all the gardening to my husband. He is the green thumb in the family. However, as the years have gone on, I have become more involved. This year I seem to have the most involvement. I have learned some new things as we tend to our garden.
Working on retaining wall. Photo by Faithful Homesteader
One of the first new projects that I worked on was building a little retaining wall for mulch along the front of our house where we started growing Aronia berries. We bought some 7-1/2 x 15 inch landscape flats from Lowe's for the project. First I helped dig up the original bricks and dug out dirt to make room for the new bricks.
Finished retaining wall. Photo by Faithful Homesteader
My husband helped get things started, and then it was my job to lay the brick using a string line and a level. It was actually the first time that I had ever used a level. I put in all the bricks and backfilled it with dirt to keep everything in place. I did have some struggles getting everything level, and I was sure exhausted at the end of it. But it did give me a sense of accomplishment.
Another new thing that I did this year was transplanting tomatoes and peppers from pots into the ground. My husband usually grows them from seeds but got a little lazy this year and bought some from the farm store. I have planted seeds before, but never transported from pots. My husband showed me how he did it.
I dug up the dirt with enough space to place the small pot into the ground fairly deep. Then I braced the top of the pot with my finger and turned the pot upside down. Once I loosened everything and let the plants fall from the pot, I was able to set it in the ground and fill in the dirt around it. I then placed cages around all the plants.
Photo by Faithful Homesteader
I also did throw some seeds into the ground. So far from seed, we have corn, beans, squash, peach, cantaloupe, spiral cucumbers, and purple carrots. We still have other things to plant, like our flowers. I watered everything to get it all started. Generally we do not have to water much once things get going. We are doing in-ground beds for most everything that is not part of the landscaping. In the past we had lowered beds, but since my husband has amended the soil so much over the years, they now work as ground level beds. Raised beds do not work for us, because the temperature gets too hot.
I also, for the first time, put down mulch and compost. It was definitely a smelly job that I could do without, but I know it is good for the garden. This year we are really working on making sure the garden is puppy proof. We generally don’t mind so much if the chickens have a run in the garden. We are mostly using chicken wire to keep the dog away, but we haven’t finished with everything just yet.
Working in the garden is definitely giving me quite the work out. I have ended up with a sore back, sore quadriceps, arms, and shoulders. I do like having that sense of accomplishment. I think it will make me pay even more attention to how the garden does this year knowing that I have been putting in so much work.