springtime poetry

Julie, Julie tell me truly,
How does your garden Grow?

uh...Believe me, I have my doubts, you know!?!?

OK, so i'm not a poet

and i don't think i'm a gardener either.


but i'm giving it a whirl.

the odds are stacked since i live in a HOT desert.

a garden, in Las Vegas?

i reminded myself...it IS possible.
others have overcome our climate amazingly well....and maybe i will to.

here's a picture of our friends Kevin and Kira Barney's amazing desert garden...just a small piece of it!

i have hope.

and i'm finally getting around to something i've wanted to do for YEARS!

it all started about 3 weeks ago when i was talking with my friend
melissa and she asked if i had a garden and mentioned that she was going to garden this year. i replied that i didn't but always had wanted to. i also went and looked at courtney's garden. and i mustered up the motivation to plant my own! then i realized that now was as good of a time as any.

so we got things started.

i learned as much as i could from here..

Here's what I learned....

Gardening notes

Water dirt once a day for a week or two, as needed, to get the dirt working

I would keep your very first garden small so you don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t go quite right.

I put my garden along my west wall to shade it from the brutal, summer afternoon sun

Your garden will need full morning or early afternoon sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

The soil composition is very important. You want to have lots of organic material, meaning manure and compost. The more dead, organic matter the better the soil, which means better produce.

You also don’t want to step on the garden dirt and compact the dirt

Don’t plant right after you add the amendments because the soil needs time to release all of what the plants need.

When shopping look for the words compact, patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf. Just because the plant is bred to be small doesn’t mean that the fruits will be small.

If you want green beans you can get more yield from a pole variety than a bush. You can let them climb up instead of on the ground, using less space.

WATER: when it comes to watering your plants, you might look for a “weeping” hose. These can be found at Lowes’s and Home Depot. They use less water and actually give your plant a drip that saturates the root zone and water better than all at once. Be sure to water regular at least every two or three days.

SOIL: Make sure your soil has enough compost and fertilizer. Soil is important. Vegetables need a rich organic soil to mature and produce good tasting fruits. Remember, if you are going to eat it you have to feed it!

SUN: Vegetables need a good 6 hours or more of sun in a day. Without sun the fruits will not ripen and the plant will be stressed.

For those of you who don’t have any compost of your own, be sure to buy a good quality compost like Kellogg’s or a similar brand. The cheap compost-mulch is just that. The forest magic is mostly ground up bark and does not do much in the way of adding to your soil.

Now is the time you should have already gotten your soil prepared for spring planting. If you haven’t, not to worry, you still have time if you act quickly.

Now is the time you should have already gotten your soil prepared for spring planting. If you haven’t, not to worry, you still have time if you act quickly.

I also found some more information here.

can you say brain overload!?!

i got over the overload.

then we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

we brought in some pretty dirt.

justin tilled the land.(while sporting every plastic tool known to man.)

we planted some seeds ..some of which have even grown seedlings.

[along with the seedlings grew some pretty tiny white worm looking creatures too.]

yuck. we threw those away.

then we picked up some cheater plants from the nursery....a little help you know since we got a late start.

we hooked up some cute little soaker hoses.

made cute little rows (which i love.)

then lovingly put each little plant in it's new home.
(most get to live here.)

(the lucky ones get to live here.)
[as ugly as it looks...this thing is amazing. it's like an earth box (but i made it.)
go here for info. no ground or garden of your own? then make one of these. if you want to know how to make your own, let me know. ]

all of which made my fingers beautifully dirty. pretty huh?!?

now i get to go outside and water and check on my garden..which is fun.
except when i notice some plants dying...already.

but i'm o.k. with that.
it's a learning experience right!?

and do you know what makes me happier than anything???
justin is LOVING every minute of it.
EVERY DAY he asks, "can we garden today mom?
and i say yes.

so that's the beginning of our gardening story.
there may be many more beautiful chapters to come.

but there may be just one more chapter....
the end.

but i pray this is just the beginning.
and if any garden needs prayers...mine does. :)


Minna and Matt Pedersen said...

I love it!! I want to have a garden so badly! I just need to de-desert landscape my back yard first. So i think next year will be my garden year. I hope your garden turns out wonderfully!!

The Ballstaedts said...

Oh you make me want to re-try planting a garden. Last year we planted, but while on vacation our little garden died.

Mansius Family said...

James and I just got are garden ready to plant again. We didn't have much luck last year except for my strawberries. Its always a lot of fun though. We do a few plants in pots and the kids have already decided which pot they want to call theirs and what they want to put in their pot.

Michelle said...

That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo exciting!! And it looks like loads of fun, too.

Jill said...

Next year, next year, next year. That seems to be my garden mantra. I am happy for you! Good luck and keep passing on the tid bits.

andrea said...

Don't get discouraged by the dying plants. Some always die, but the good news is that some of them come back. It's always a shock for the plants to go from an over-watered green house to regular soil, watering, and the great outdoors.

Mary said...

yah for gardening! it's so much fun! someday i too will try a real garden! as for now i'm just planting in the edges of my lawn and hoping tom dosen't mow them over!

Stacie said...

That looks like one happy, dirt-lovin' kid!

Amy said...

Thanks for all the tips! I have my garden ready to go, just no plants. I need this thing called time...

Melissa said...

I MISS GARDENING!! We grew all kinds of stuff in Oregon. Now we're renting again and we're not supposed to touch the landscaping. One day we'll have a garden again.
Good luck with yours! I promise that it will be worth the effort!!!

Zach and Nikki said...

Your garden looks great! We'll have to compare notes on what has worked for both of us.

Ryan, Melissa and Addy said...

Good for you guys! What a great thing for your family to grow a garden like that. I don't have much of a green thumb myself. Even in San Diego, where nothing dies, I have killed at least 3 outdoor plants. I hope your garden works out!

Larae Taylor Merritt said...

I'm going to have to try the box thing! I have always wanted a garden, but not quite enough room.

Larae Taylor Merritt said...

I'm going to have to try the box thing! I have always wanted a garden, but not quite enough room.

Mel said...

I love it! You are so inspiring, you really make it sound like fun! (Which it is, at least for me and Justin...)

I am proud of you.

Darrell and Alissa said...

Good luck on the garden- I KNOW it will turn out! YOu and Patrick seem to have great talent at what ever you put your minds to! Since we moved here I keep thinking I'd love to do a garden again- we had one in Utah- but every year it gets forgotten, so maybe next year?!;)

Anonymous said...

Julie I love your blog. You are so fun and inspirational. I know I've told you a million times, but you are one of my heroes. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I need to checkout your blog more often. You're garden lookings great and your kids look happy. I can see what a great teacher you are. Hope you get enough harvest to enjoy your efforts. It's exciting! Love, MOM

Elizabeth said...

Wow, very impressive! You are such a great blogger. I miss seeing you and our talks :( We should get together and play sometime this week. I will try and call you.

Lesley said...

Yeah for gardening! Good luck! It is tricky here. Keep posting your helpful hints, I love them!

Angie Larkin said...

Wow! I am so impressed! What fun. I love that Justin is so in to it. I loved your hints too. I hope you become my gardening friend I can call when I finally plant one some day. Keep us posted on your gardening developments.

Craig Family said...

Way to go, Julie. You have done great things already. I'm going to have to make a visit to see your garden. It really is wonderful when the kids enjoy it too!