May Gardening

You know that old saying "April showers bring May flowers"? What if it didn't rain at all in April? Ok, maybe it did, one day. Does that mean no flowers in May? Not really. All of the saguaros are in bloom at the moment. After a lot of work since Thursday I finally have part of my garden almost ready for planting. I kept changing my mind on where it should be. Finally deciding that the best place is the original location. I thought I should move it, because eventually, in ten years, that location will have a tree shading it. But that isn't really a bad thing, and besides, in ten years... will we still be in this house? The second location (that I actually had put up the retaining wall in, you know, back in February,) wasn't set up with a drip line. It kept me up at night trying to figure out if it was worth calling the landscaper to put in a drip line. In the end, I decided against spending the money.

Now another issue is that there are plants already growing in my garden. I have eight tomatoes, a poblano, some cilantro, sunflowers, and a pineapple sage. I didn't want to disturb these plants. The tomatoes are blooming and some are beginning to bear fruit. I chose to make the raised bed garden only about half the original size. Maybe I was feeling overwhelmed by moving all of that soil and the price of it.

Friday morning I started moving the concrete blocks. It was only in the 80s and cloudy so after picking up Rhaynnon from school, I finished the retaining wall. Then started digging the dirt out. I used our ever useful pond form as a place to put the dirt. I wanted to dig it down about six inches deeper. Luckily this area has been on a drip line so the soil wasn't baked hard clay like other places in the yard. It really only took my a few hours to get it dug out.

The next step was to put the cardboard down. This is supposed to help the soil retain moisture, and it will also compost in time. I had seen somewhere that you could also put shredded paper in compost so I did that as well. (No way anyone will find out my sensitive information since it will be composted into the garden!)

After that layer I dumped the partially composted material from my compost bins. This was covered by the dirt in the pond form. Next came the topsoil we purchased from Lowe's. This is nearly 12 cubic feet and I think it needs about 6 more. Oh well, that will have to wait until tomorrow, today I am exhausted!

I planted a snail vine (or corkscrew vine) that should, within a few weeks cover these and shade the air conditioner. I will have to stay on top of it, or it could take over the whole yard and grow into the a/c unit. They grow fast and are invasive. However they are green and do not require a lot of water (in my experience, being an underwaterer, I haven't killed too many of them!)

Finally, a picture of a fig. I love figs. The smell from the leaves makes me think of my Grandpa, and I have always wanted one. This year I am hoping that we will get a few ripe figs. The tree is covered in green ones, and the girls have been instructed to NOT pick them. Aren't they beautiful?


homeslice said...

i love figs! my neighbor had one - we used to pick the ones that came over the fence line :-) your garden is looking fab!

bodaat said...

garden is looking great! more pictures please!

lvh said...

You are amazing - I cannot believe how much you've done in your backyard - you totally rock. I'm sure you'll have the best garden on the block - grow some zucchini so when Grandma comes up later this summer, you can send one with her. I definitely didn't get G'pa C's farming genes to grow veggies.

Amie said...

so wonderful! you did GREAT work! I am so bummed, because I had four nice zucchini's growing, and then they all turned black and died. I looked online and saw something about underpollenation? I know nothing about this. Stink. Good luck with yours! My green onions and tomatoes are growing like crazy. I can't wait for my tomatoes to turn red!

Mo said...

Great stuff! I am seriously impressed and can't wait to see all that you grow in there. Make sure you do lots of update posts please!

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