Monday, May 11, 2009

The Garden Is Planted!

I received the best Mother's Day gift ever yesterday - the husband packed up the boys in the car and took them out for 5 whole hours! 5 hours alone felt like a 2 week vacation. I saw some neighbors as I was doing yardwork. I told them how I was free for a while and they all said "Then why are you doing yardwork? Go inside and do nothing!" But I didn't! I had a mission! Taking advice from Bev from The Homeschool Gardener and my Polish neighbor, I planted my garden!

These little plants wouldn't fit in my garden. I'm hoping to find them a good home somewhere else. Possibly a friend, possibly Freecycle.

Here is my finished product! Instead of a bouquet of flowers, my incredibly kind and loving husband got me a couple flats of marigolds and other pretty flowers. That was wonderful! Just what my garden needed!

One of my tomato plants. I love them.

I was trying to be all sneaky and take a picture of my competition's garden. He planted on Saturday. He said he only has 1 tomato plant and I noticed carrots and a couple other random things in there.
To put a bargain twist on this, I'll let give into some "cheap" secrets...
1. That flower box you see in the picture. The old owners left it. The previous owners were in their 80s and moving to an old-folks home. At first they asked us if we wanted a few random things in the house - a kitchen table, a mirror, microwave cart, etc. I told them "yes" to everything. Then I called up the agent and told her that they don't have to ask us for every single item - they could leave whatever they wanted and we'd be cool with it. She cautioned us on this and I think we had to sign a form saying we didn't mind. It was seriously the best thing we did. They left the shed full of garden tools, a wheelbarrel and seed spreader - things we didn't have and have used - a lot. If you're thinking of buying from "older folk" - see if they wouldn't mind leaving stuff behind. Chances are, it's stressful for them to throw everything away or donate it. They might be happy to know you want it. Sure, we threw away or Freecycled some stuff, but we've used a lot of it. On the flipside, if you are selling and can't take everything with you, offer it up!

2. The back portion of the garden has a cheapo 4 ft high wire fence (left by previous owners - again!). I found 3 handles in the shed that went to rakes or other tools. I used them as stakes and they worked beautifully.
3. I am leaving my wheelbarrel out (it's an upright kind - not a traditional kind). When it rains, it collects a lot of water and I'm hoping to use this to supplement watering the garden. Last year, my town sold rain water barrels. I should see if they are doing that again. We're in the process of getting new gutters and I wish I was clever enough to figure out how to rig up a rain barrel to one of the downspouts - but I'm not that good.
4. My grape tomatoes I planted from seeds pretty much are all dead. Tomatoes are hard to grow from seed (at least for me) and I'll stick to buying plants in the future. Cucumbers, Zucchini and Yellow Squash were all very easy! I'm scared of trying carrots and lettuce. Maybe next year.


MaryAnne said...

Your garden looks great - it'll be fun to watch it grow!

Anonymous said...

Your garden looks great I'll post mine next week, aren't you afraid of frost this week?

BECKY! said...

Marilyn - I am not afraid of frost! I was originally, but my Polish neighbor said he always plants Mother's Day weekend and doesn't have issues. I know for our area, the "last frost" is May 25th - but that's just sort of a guaranteed day of no frost. I guess if God pulls a cruel joke on us New Englanders, we could be in for some nasty weather the next 2 weeks - but at least my neighbor's garden is going down too! ;)

Anonymous said...

Lettuce is easy to plant and is ready to eat as early as three weeks. Our local middle school has a green house and they grow it.

This is a good reference on your rain barrel hooked up to a down spout.

Donna in NH

BECKY! said...

Thanks Donna! I'll look into it!

I think if I do okay enough this year, I'll venture into other things next year!

Leslie said...

It'll be great if you can hook your gutters up to a rain barrel. But if you end up leaving the wheelbarrow out try to get some sort of screen for it or you'll be growing mosquitoes right along with the tomatoes. Standing water is just not healthy.