Since I was a little girl I have had this romantic image in my head of having this great garden that was my secret place.
I think the dream stems from reading books like Mandy as a girl coupled with a Mother and Grandmother who are both gifted with green thumbs. I just love to grow, and I’m thankful that green thumb has been passed down, but until this year the extent of my garden had to be contained on an apartment patio. Now, with our house, knowing we will me planted here for a while (pun intended) it’s time to start on that dream garden on mine.
When we moved into the house we had to rip out a warped deck in the backyard, and never got rid of the old wood. I did say I wanted to keep some of it, but it’s all still here. It was also taking over the area where I wanted to start the veggie garden section. It is right next to the garden hut, we call this structure “Pineapple Express”, which is sitting empty right now. The hut was in my 7 year old dream garden too!
First we had to move our pile of wood, and I kept out all the pieces that still looked pretty good. The size of the veggie garden was determined by the size of the deck boards – It worked, but I probably should have planned out a bit better. 8ft x 8ft is big!
After the spot was clear, I started digging out the hole. I dug around the edges first, to make sure I could actually build the frame the way I wanted. It worked. Got the 2 sides with the fences on them in, and placed some boards to mark off the other sides. When you dig much more then a foot deep in this part of North Florida, the soil is almost completely sand. That’s about where I stopped digging.
The next day I was back at it. Finished digging out around the edges and building the frame. On the sides without fence I added some posts. Eventually I’ll need to attach some chicken wire to keep the critters out. I’m curious though, the backyard is completely fenced, I’m not sure what critters would get in.
You can tell by the photos how this process went. Dig out dirt and roots of grass, and then add potting soil. Well, once I got the soil out there (before I finished digging) I realized I had really misjudged the amount I was going to need. That is how the island came to be. It worked out for the best though. It’s the easiest way to get to the plant in the far back without disturbing the guys in the front. YAY for spur of the moment decisions, and just going with it. I might have to change this way down the road, but I like my little island.
Next to plant. I’ve been growing some little guys from seeds in a starter greenhouse, then some I bought as small plants from the hardware store.
So, growing in this garden we have:
- Green Bell Peppers
- Yellow Bell Peppers
- Cayenne Peppers
- Jalapenos (from seeds)
- Banana Peppers
- Cucumbers (from seeds)
- Radishes (from seeds)
- Shell Peas (from seeds)
- Arugula (from seeds)
- Mesclin Lettuce (from seeds)
Other edible plants in the yard:
- Giant Lemon Tree
- Mexican Tarragon
Other edible plants in the house:
- Curly Parsley
- Flat Parsley
Here are some shots from the garden this first week, I hope you check back often to see how things are growing! Also, this week I had a special guest gardening buddy, He hung out with me the whole time I was outside. Just another reason I love Florida!