My vege garden: from start to plant ready

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First of all I’d just like to say that I’ve done a LOT of planning for this garden. I read several books and many websites, and ruminated at length. Much of this rumination took place while staring out of the playroom window at rain, supervising children, unable to get out there, and plus not quite sure what I wanted to be doing yet.

I originally wanted to use most of the existing garden beds and convert them into edible ones. Turned out most of them wouldn’t get anywhere near enough sun, and everything would be randomly scattered about the garden, so I abandoned that idea and set to designing raised beds.

I went through 4 or so layouts before deciding on what’s now out there. I wanted to maximise a certain area of lawn, so some is straight and some is curved and there’s a bit in the middle. Ended up with roughly 25m2, which I’m hoping will provide us with most of our vegetable needs.

First job was to mark out the beds, which I did with the help of Amazing Husband and his pretty awesome parents. They started digging it up for me, but it’s hard work and they didn’t get too far. I was going to just flip the sods over and use them as the base of the beds, but then I decided I didn’t trust the grass not to grow upside down – conundrum – what to do with the sods? Answer – list them on trademe! Sold them for a dollar, and the wonderful man who bought them did a very large chunk of the work digging them up, too (score!), though by this stage, a month or two after we started, the ground was pretty soft from oodles of rain.

Then it was time to start laying the bricks for the little wee walls. Took a while, but I did it, brick by brick, all on my ownsome. Got the bricks off trademe – $30 for the lot, which got me 2 bricks high all around the garden.

Then I had to figure out how to turn my clay into workable soil. Got some topsoil and sand off freecycle, bought some sand and compost, got some topsoil off a friend – also have fancy pony poo that still needs to be worked in. Chucked all that on the clay, and set to work digging up the clay, breaking it up, and mixing it all together. It was taking FOREVER. At least an hour per m2, and since I only usually got a couple of hours a week to do it, I was starting to get rather depressed about the whole thing.

Then my brother-in-law-in-law (there should really be a proper term for that relationship) suggested a rotary hoe. Amazing Husband had been sure there must be some magic machine that would do it for me, but I thought I’d know about if there were. For some reason I thought a rotary hoe was a stick with a sharp wheel at the end. Nope, it’s a beasty, petrol driven soil cutting and mixing machine.

I remembered that a few days ago a friend had accidentally bought on on trademe. Damn trademe accidents. Asked if she and her husband would be ok with me borrowing it – and they offered to do it for me! Some people are too cool! This morning they came over and churned my clay and soil and sand into something I can actually put plants in. I am SUPER excited, cos I was really want to get the strawberry plants I got on freecyle and some seedings into the ground, plus the things that need direct sowing like lettuce and carrots. Have I mentioned I’m super excited? This afternoon I’ll dig the horse poo in, make sure things are evenly distributed, mark off the different beds, and hopefully get the strawberries in if nothing else. Did I mention I’m super excited???? Instead of a depressing mess that seems like it’ll never be ready for plants, I now have a garden full of soil outside!!!!

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  1. […] my garden is finally ready for seedlings (at least I think it is – not entirely sure of the quality of the soil and have […]



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