Friday, June 5, 2009

Let The Fun Begin

When we started this garden, we had no way of knowing how it would take off. Some of our crops didn't make it and others seemed to do very well with little effort, which is very surprising since we live in a desert climate. But we were able to relax and have fun with our garden once we took the time to prepare.

I've said in past posts that Extreme Gardening by has been a valuable source for us. I would probably have stopped gardening all together if it hadn't been for this book. We lost just about EVERY crop that we transplanted (from Home Depot at about $3/pot), but every crop that we planted from seed has thrived. That was the first thing we noted... nothing beats 'from scratch' and nothing beats organic.
The second thing that we have noticed is that once the prep work is completed (soil turned, organic compost added and the garden actually mapped out), the bulk of the work is pretty much done. We have been spending all of about 15 minutes every other day watering and about 1 hour on Saturday pulling weeds and actually tending to the crops. We actually credit this very low maintenance to the prep work.To prepare the ground, we tilled it every third day for a week an a half. The purpose of the constant tilling was to expose weeds and kill them at the root. Any that were starting below the surface would then be pulled to the surface on the third day to die, and then the next three days and so on until most of the weeds had been eradicated. Don't get me wrong, we still get weeds, but very few.

Admittedly, our garden would have gone far more smoothly if we had mapped out the garden beforehand, but I didn't get Extreme Gardening until the garden was well underway and I discovered that I needed some help. After losing all the transplanted crops, I then took the time to map out where the future seeds would be planted based on what crops grew well with others. For example, corn thrives when grown next to melons and strawberries grow well next to ONIONS!!! But now we know better and reaping this harvest is becoming so much fun! I wanted to take the time to share our garden update. Let me know if your green thumb has been inspired! Let the fun begin!

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