Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Almost Veggie Garden

     I am so excited to have a vegetable garden! I know nothing about how to do it, and that has made it all the more fun. I keep asking people for advice, and they pretty much all tell me the same thing: 

Plant things, and add water.

    I decided to put the garden in the field in front of the house. I knew I needed to turn the grass into dirt somehow. I was pretty sure a shovel and elbow grease would do the trick but figured there had to be a better way. I talked to my friend and neighbor Shelly about it. She had a great garden so I knew she would have good advice. She offered to have her husband use their tractor to till the ground. It was amazing! A garden in mere minutes. 

     I didn't want to use a lot of chemicals for weeding so I looked up some ideas on a more natural approach. I read some great reviews on the use of a torch. After tilling the ground you burn all of the weeds so it kills them down to the roots. That way, you have less to weed! I went to the nursery and got myself a torch. I then went to Home Depot to get a propane tank. I got home, hooked the torch hose to the tank, eager to try it out. But something about a torch, me, and fire sort of freaked me out. I had no idea how far out the flame would shoot once I lit it. I thought I had better not light it alone. I asked Shelly to come over but she was heading to town. I texted a couple of friends to see if they could swing by, but they were all busy. I sat there, contemplating the situation. I picked up the metal "starter" and squeezed it. It seemed harmless enough...but images of my hair catching on fire kept me from trying. 

     Just then my father in law pulled up. I asked him to light it for me.  The flame shot out forcefully, make a loud, constant "wooshing" sound. I found it to be a little intimidating. He turned it off, handed it to me, and told me to light it. Which I did. Reluctantly. I grimaced and held it as far from me as possible. I turned it back off, drug it out to my garden, and lit it. I tip toed to the edge of the dirt and scoped out my plan of attack.

  It was surprisingly satisfying! I felt like a zombie killer out there, blasting everything in sight. I went over the garden twice just to be sure. ( And because I was having a ball.) After that I spread compost on over it, with the help of Kyle and my father in law. It looked beautiful! I then remembered I wanted to lay down netting before the compost. Oh well.... The first on many gardening mistakes I will undoubtedly make. 

   My neighbor tilled the garden two more times. I will now make raised beds and wide rows. I have no clue how to go about doing that, but that is what Google is for.  I can see how people get hooked on gardening. It has so far been a lot of fun. And if all goes well, and the plants thrive better than my animals, it will also be rewarding.

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