So to start a garden in my tiny backyard in which I intend to EAT what grows will be a feat. But since moving into this house, I've learned to sew, craft, blog, pin, and now starting to take up photography...All while being a new parent, another on the way, and attending grad school. So why not start a garden, right? Perfect timing.... ????
Honestly, other than the satisfaction of conquering something new, I'm starting a garden to ensure that Presley, my 3-year old daughter, and I have a special project to work on this Spring and Summer after daughter #2 is born. P is in school three days a week so I can work on my school, and now this new little sister will take up a lot of her mommy's time. There needs to be a special place for us to spend time together, just us two.
I have fantasies of us working - not sure what "working" means yet - in the garden with lemonade sitting out and the summer breeze flowing through her blonde hair. Oh...and what's this? Oh my goodness, Presley! Look! It's broccoli! Look what we did!
I know it won't really be that way - mostly because we don't get summer breezes in Texas. And baby Addie will be in a bouncer nearby, but it will still be "our place," even if nothing grows. At least we're playing in dirt, right?
So, I started with the Square Foot Gardening book and my local Calloway's Nursery. (I figured I should bypass our Lowe's garden center because I needed "special attention" and advice to start my garden.) For Christmas, my mother-in-law sent me this 4x4 Raised Garden Bed Frame.
At Calloway's, they agreed that the "Mel's Mix" dirt that the SFG book suggested is a good mix, but around here, they suggest I try these instead: expanded shale, compost (cow manure), and some sort of mulch/soil builder. I also got this garden claw.
So the hubs set up the garden frame.
Following the advice from the guys at Calloway's, he dug up and loosened 6-8" of our fabulous Texas clay. (He used the claw to loosen it before using the shovel to upturn it.)
Then he used the claw to mix all three of these products with our clay.
This morning Presley and I went out and pulled up any leftover dead grass pieces from the top. And now it's all ready for planting in March (2 weeks before Addie gets here). I'm planning to attend Calloway's Spring Vegetables and Herbs free clinic before deciding what should go it. Plus, there's a sale on those kinds of plants going on that week.
Any advice? Feel free to let me know what I did wrong, what I should do, etc. in the comments section below. I could use all the help you want to dish out.
p.s. I live in what I now know as Hardiness Zone 7B (but so, so near 8A). This helps me determine what and when I should plant. Good to know. Find yours using your zip code at the National Gardening Association's website.