Sunday, September 11, 2011

Garden Happiness

     It's been more than a decade since I planted a garden or had my own fresh vegetables.  Now that I am free of school obligations I am taking the time to live and do what I held back from doing when I was too busy thinking about school, going to school, or just trying to survive my work day. One of those things is gardening. I love playing in the mud, I love the smell of a garden vegetable that I or someone has grown.
     In the desert there are 2 growing seasons; winter and spring. The summer heat and sun fries everything so you usually have most of the veggies out by June. And it's not worth the frustration to try to keep tender or hearty plants alive. This being the perfect time to start a winter garden we decided to give it a go.
     After a few scheduling conflicts we were able to make it out there. The plot is lovely! a nice sized rectangle with 2 wire trellis for growing squash, peas, beans, cucumbers; all vertically. Then two large squares on each side of that. It is also in need of some work. It sat for several years collecting nesting chickens from the neighbors "free range" chickens. (free range as in there is no fence to keep them in the backyard so they just wander from yard to street to yard laying eggs and foraging.) It is not as bad as it could be, but we're going to have to spend a weekend or two getting the grass out. Then tilling it and refilling it with some more soil.
You can't see them very well, but the tarp is covered with tomato cages!

After we removed the tomato cages we lifted up the tarp to see what lived beneath. An enormous amount of dead and not-so-dead grass. The sprinklers are still in good shape so we won't have to do too much maintenance on them.

    I am not complaining about the hard work its going to take to make this plot lovely and productive.  But I do have office butt and have not really done much manual labor since I moved into my house 7 years ago. I do have to take it easy so I don't throw my back out.

De-grassing the 1st square.

Oh! There is a sprinkler head.

The middle section is cleared.
I wish I could go during the week to get this done, but it's too hot after work to stop and work a bit. It will have to wait for next weekend. This Thursday the irrigation will do its monthly soaking. Perhaps the ground will be softer and easier to work with.

What are we going to plant for our winter crop?
Peppers ( Poblano and Bell )
Cilantro ( not sure if it will survive the winter but we shall see)
Swiss Chard
Leaf Lettuce

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