After a lot of time talking about it and trying to plan everything out, Chip and I finally planted our garden last weekend! Let me tell you, we are so excited to have this (mostly) done. Ironically, last weekend was Earth Day, so I guess we did our part for the planet by spending the day outside planting away.
We went to Lowe’s last Friday to buy all of the plants, top soil and compost so we would be ready to go on Saturday. Chip had also rented a tiller for the weekend so we could get the soil out there in the best condition possible before planting everything. Now we both had commitments Saturday morning, so when we got home around noon it was time to get to work. Before I get started on all the work, I would like to thank my parents for the gardening supplies they sent us as a gift. They’re pretty experienced in the yard work arena, so they sent us some gloves, hats and sunscreen to help us get started. I did feel a little goofy in my pink hat at first, but its functionality can’t be denied!
His and hers garden supplies
The rest of this post will be broken out in all of our planting steps…
Step 1 (after applying sunblock and getting cherry limeades from Sonic, of course): Till the ground! Probably one of the best decisions we made for this garden was to rent a tiller. The dirt back here was terrible to start with, so with the tiller we were able to break everything up and then shovel out a bunch of this bad dirt and bring in better topsoil and compost. Yes, it was loud and a serious forearm workout, but it definitely got the job done with flying colors.
Step 1: Till the ground!
Wrigley didn't like the loud tiller and barked at it most of the time. Please note the partially stained fence...
Step 2: Shovel out a good amount of the bad, rocky dirt. Together, we shoveled out about 10 wheelbarrow’s worth of this dirt. We then brought in around the same amount of organic garden topsoil and leveled out that side of the garden as best as we could.
Leveling out the topsoil, or as Chip joked "shoveling sh*t"
Pile of shredded newspaper
Step 3: Shred newspaper for the garden soil. Now, one of Chip’s coworkers has a pretty good garden at his house and one thing they did was put shredded newspaper in their garden soil. Apparently the wet newspaper in the soil attracts worms which is supposed to help gardens. Since we really want this garden to be a success, we decided to heed their advice and include shredded newspaper in our soil.
Spreading out all the shredded newspaper
My preferred way of spreading out the shredded newspaper...
Step 4: Put compost on top of the topsoil and shredded newspaper.
Chip pouring out the compost
Step 5: Re-till everything so all the dirt and newspaper would be nice and mixed up for planting.
Step 6: Map out where everything will be planted. I had a general idea of how I wanted to separate the veggies, fruits and herbs but wanted to space everything out before planting. Confession: we bought an arbitrary amount of plants at Lowe’s last Friday. We literally walked around their garden area saying “How many tomato plants should we buy? Three? Yeah, that sounds good, let’s just do that.” Somehow, everything actually spaced out perfectly! (which only motivates me to buy my flowers arbitrarily, too….)
Spacing out the plants
Step 7: PLANT!! By this point it was about 6:00ish, so we were both more than ready to be wrapping up. I also need to praise Chip at this point for being so encouraging with another one of my projects. He did all of this yard work without any complaints (except for when we accidentally hit a sprinkler pipe while we were tilling… still need to fix that… haha) and worked so efficiently the whole day. He has also become an expert hole digger for my planting, so we were done with this last step in almost no time! Here’s what the planted garden looked like when we finished. I’m convinced some of them have already grown a bit, especially the tomatoes :)
Completed left side of the garden!
For those that are curious, here’s what we planted from right (where the big gate is) to left: different tomato varieties, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, orange mint, watermelon, cantaloupe, cilantro, basil and rosemary. After we had finished all this planting, we decided to go celebrate our gardening efforts at one of our favorite restaurants, La Fogata. We love this restaurant, but we’re convinced it’s an even better overall experience when you sit and eat outside with a glass of sangria after a long day of yard work :)
Blurry picture while we waited for a table at La Fogata
Delicious sangria with dinner
Enjoying the mariachis play a song someone else requested
Now we still have some more work to do on the garden, some of which we’re hoping to get done this evening. While we have all those veggies and herbs on the left side of the garden, I’m hoping to get some different flowers planted on the right side. We also need to work on the path down the middle of the garden which we’re currently planning as mulch and large stones and then put in a little bit of lighting (I really like this idea I saw on Pinterest from Your Cozy Home) . And of course, we still need to finish staining the rest of the fence. Whew! :)
The dogs are always there to supervise our work
Another great day outside together :)