I'm working on putting a vegetable garden in. It's been a major work in progress. The idea started last summer, when I got mad about paying money for something that I knew I could grow. And I read about modern versions of Victory Gardens somewhere online, except instead of the enemy being Germany and Japan, the enemy is out dependence on foreign oil and the food miles that comes with our food. And I wanted H to know about where food comes from and feel that connection. And then Mr. Thystle said he'd help out and well, that sold me!
Back Yard When We Purchased the House, Dec. 2001
The problem has been finding time and when the weather turns foggy finding motivation to get H dressed and me dressed and downstairs. And before he walking it was where to put him and then he was putting everything in his mouth, etc. He's a good age now...to dig up all my seedlings when they pop up *grin*. I knew the spot I wanted to put raised beds in at (raised beds to help define the area I'll need to protect from cats and slugs) but we had an old pond that had been filled in with soil that we needed to remove first. As we're working at it, there are paint chips flying. So after a brief period of freaking out about lead paint, I did the right thing and tested it. Turns out we're a.o.k. Yea! But then we had to go through 4 or 5 or 6 colds.
Back Yard A Couple of Years Ago - Notice the patio as nearly disappeared
I'm using the bible for vegetable gardening in San Francisco (Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce) and it suggests 4 planting times for beginners, since you can really plant all year round in SF and that gets a little intimidating. They are Feb/Mar, April/May, July/Aug, and Oct/Nov. So the crunch was on to get things pulled together in May, so I called in backup. My parents came and helped move the last bit of rubble from the pond demo and level the ground to get the raised beds in - 8" high cedar with aluminum posts from Gardener's Supply to make 4'x 4' beds. There are currently 2 beds in place, and if things go well over the next few months, I'll try 2 or 3 more beds. Four beds for each planting period (although really probably only 3 would be in production at any point and 1 would be fallow) and 1 bed for perennial herbs.
So we're getting there! Today I did a bit of bed prep work, making sure the soil was broken up and removing the largest rocks and bits of organic matter (like twiggy roots). I've made a tentative list of plants to go in this bed, and I'm really not sure how its all gonna fit. Many of the items are things that need to be planted in succession, like sowing cilantro every 3 weeks or so. So I might not end up with exactly the space I expect. We'll see. I'm also trying to figure out how to irrigate it. I think the short term solution will be a hose and sprinkler. The most important part is to get SOMETHING in the ground and then I'll worry about how to attach my copper tape to prevent slugs and what happens if the dog decided to run through the beds, etc.
So stay tuned!