Breaking new ground is never easy. It takes time, patience, planning, and serious effort, right? Well, maybe sometimes… Sometimes it all just comes together in a gift basket with a bottle of Tylenol for afterwards. That is kinda how our first garden experience went.
You might notice the high tunnel on the left side of our soon to be first garden and wonder why we are working with someone who has a high tunnel. Tia and Jay are using some land that her mom owns for their garden since their backyard is not suitable… covered in gravel. The plot is on the site of Perennial Favorites, a local nursery and landscaping business which is owned by her mom. The spot is wonderful for a few reasons. First, the high tunnel will block high winds and help protect the garden. Second, there is a water supply line to the high tunnel that we can tap into so watering will not be an issue. Two very good things.
First step…. breaking ground. And so we tilled… once, twice, and three times, each time stopping to remove rocks, bricks, glass, wires, and various other items that the earth gave up. Not to mention the crabgrass, or at least as much of it as we could…. We discovered the irrigation lines that go to the high tunnel, which is how we found out about them!! Luckily, they were in a larger plastic tubing that acted as a conduit so we only hit that and not the lines… Whew!
Once the tilling was done and most of the rocks and feds were cleared, we laid landscaping fabric that Tia’s mom gave them. This will make their new garden soooooo much earlier to keep weed free. We discussed the different options for garden layout and decided to group the corn in a small section of shorter rows so it would be stronger in the wind. We cut a corner off so we could plant the corn in this area. Just made more sense. Then we planted the tomatoes that they had been growing from seeds. Tia and Jay started out with a plan to grow and sell tomatoes to a local pizza place, but the idea became over whelming and the plants have been waiting for a while to be planted. Thursday was their day. We got 50 plants in the ground before stopping for the way. Tia will be working on her numbers to determine if they want to plant any more. What about the leftover plants ? Well, Tia and Jay have decided to donate them to other Veterans who enroll in our Backyard Victory Garden project!! Needless to say, this makes us VERY happy:) Thanks guys…. you’re the best!
So at the end of Day 1, we had the plot tilled, the fabric laid, and tomatoes and corn in the ground. Not to mention two very happy gardeners!! Tia and Jay will be working on their garden over the next few days and we will be getting back with them next week to see how things are going and help out with some more planting.
As for me, I had a warm feeling, that wasn’t caused by the 90 degree day. This Veteran family is well on their way to providing fresh produce for themselves and can’t wait to get their daughter into the garden and teach her the finer things in life. That makes me smile. Thanks Tia and Jay for letting me be part of your gardening journey. And thanks to your mom and Perennial Favorites for the plot, the support, and a promise of additional plants to other Veterans! This is a wonderful thing:)
So, breaking ground doesn’t need to be daunting, but it will surely be full of surprises.