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Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gardening: Things I've learned thus far.

*Note from the author: For some, these gardening posts may be extremely boring (and sometimes long), and I want to apologize in advance. This year we are trying the "garden" thing for the first time ever so 1) I'm super excited and 2) It'd be nice to look back on this next year and see what worked and didn't work for us. I'll try to include lots of pictures and keep things interesting, bear with me (or go back to working) :)*

Glad to see that you stuck around!!

Biggest thing I've learned--gardening is not just planting seeds, and eating delicious veggies a few days later.

So far it's meant learning, tilling, raking, worrying, pulling, preparing, shopping, asking, planting, hoping, watering, checking, bugs, spiders, weeds, dirt, mud, wishing, and so much more.

It's been a great process though. I actually enjoy coming home from work and "working" in my garden.

To kick off the gardening season and get our garden area ready this year, we rented a tiller from Home Depot. Sixty bucks for four hours. Not bad. My Uncle did my grandparents garden, and then he brought the tiller over so Trav could do ours. It was cute/funny watching him get the hang of the tiller. It was even cuter/funnier when he was finished and the first thing he said was "Man. That thing is a man-hater. It will definitely make your arms feel like jell-o!" (as he was flinging them about aimlessly).

Once the garden was all tilled, we waited. We heard through grapevine that it's best to till, and then plant a week or so later so you know where weeds/dandilion patches are going to be popping up.

During the "wait" I thought it'd be best to prepare myself for gardening so I read and took notes from tons of articles online. I thought out exactly what I wanted to plant, envisioned where exactly I wanted everything to go in the garden, wrote down all of the stuff (shovels, hoe's, rakes, etc...) I needed to buy, and felt pretty good about things.

The *day* after I did most of my research, I was driving home from work and I got a call from my Grandpa. He basically said come and pick me up. We are going to go shopping, and plant your garden today. (I think it was a Wednesday.) Even though I had read and taken notes and prepared myself, I was worried. It's one thing to read these things, and write stuff down and have a pretty picture in your head...but it's definitely another to put the plan into action and actually have little baby plants in the ground, depending on you (and some other nature type stuff) to help them grow.

Grandpa was a trooper! We went all over, hunting for "good plants". First stop was Lowe's. Then Wal-Mart. Then back to Lowe's. Then to Western Gardener. Then back to Wal-Mart. Grandpa picked out some plants for his garden, and I picked out all of ours, except for Asparagus. Apparently that takes 2-3 *years* before it produces, so I crossed that off of the wish list. I bought 1 Cherry Tomato plant, 1 Cucumber plant, 2 Lemon Cucumber plants, and 9 Bell Pepper plants. (That was the smallest pack they had, so Grandpa took 5, and we planted 4). Grandma had bought me a couple Tomato plants about 3 weeks ago, so I've been babying those and preparing them for planting, too! I also bought some Radish and Onion seeds, and just planted them last night!

Next year I'd like to start around March or April-ish and start everything from seed. I don't want to have to buy plants at all. So, there's goal number 1 for next year.

Before we could plant anything, I had to rake to "get all of the soil flat". That part sucked. It was difficult because after we tilled (which un-flattens the soil a lot!) it rained, and then was sunny, and then there was about 1-2 inches of hard-er soil above the nice stuff. Finally, Trav came over and finished the raking so Grandpa and I could get to planting!

Grandpa started digging holes while I mixed up some Miracle-Gro.

My first ever veggie plant is this cute little Cherry Tomato plant. :)

By the time we got all of the plants planted, it was just starting to get dark, so we called it a night. I'm *so* glad I had my Grandpa there to help me out!! Even after all the research I did, I still would have done things way differently.

After the plants were in the ground, it POURED. They got a little beat up, just after the first day. I was worried because I know they go through a "shock" phase at first. That's all they needed was for it to pour on them!

The next day the sun came out, but only for poured once again, so I called Grandpa to make sure they were going to be okay. He laughed and said they would be fine.

Meanwhile, all the rain helped weeds to magically appear.

I certainly hope...

my veggies...

grow as fast and healthy...

As these weeds!!

Here's the part where I really start to learn uncommon, garden stuff. Like um, what to do when it freeking snows at the end of May and you are scared because your little veggie plant babies are covered in snow!!!

I made two different calls, and was told to do two different things to cover them. I ended up deciding to go to Western Gardener and bought some stakes and a "frost-preventing-plant-protecting cloth"

It was kinda fun putting the stakes around the plants and laying the cloth. It was nice to know that I was protecting my little veggie babies.

Well, I'm sure that's enough reading for anyone so I'll stop here!

TBC with many more gardening adventures...Definitely!

1 comment:

Kristine Wooten said...

you did a great job and it's great that Grandpa was there to help. I know he enjoyed it as much as you did. Get Grandma over there to check your & Grandpa's work. :) Maybe have a bbq to get her out of the house. Love you!

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