Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our Latest Project

While I was having my D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Day yesterday, the kids kept themselves busy with our new garden. I am a green thumb wannabe so this summer I decided to get ready for a fall vegetable garden. I put out a 6'x8' tarp, weighed down with bricks, to kill the grass in the area I have mapped out for the veggies. (Which works beautifully with no harmful chemicals, by the way.) I dragged DH with me to the local home supply store and we bought brick edger thingies for a border, then we went back last weekend and bought dirt and compost. The kids pulled up the grass once it was dead so all we had to do was dump the dirt in. Our garden is ready for planting so now I'm at an impasse. I know it's about the right time to start planting, but I'm not sure if it's exactly the right time, and I'm not sure how to lay everything out. I have some gardening books so I'm going to look it up but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

The kids got tired of waiting and took matters into their own hands yesterday while I was immersed in The Hunger Games. They kept asking me if they could plant seeds. I didn't want the seeds going directly into the garden yet so I told them to start them in the little seed pots I bought a while ago; kept them busy for hours. So now we have all these little seed pots and no idea what's in them. Oh, boy.

Pretty typical of my gardening projects so far, I must say. I have the best of intentions but something always goes wrong. Like the composting. I barreled into that one and now it's all messed up. First, we just started throwing food scraps in the compost bin, then it was getting all smelly, moldy, maggot-y, and just downright disgusting, so I did some research and found out you have to layer the food scraps with organic matter like dead leaves, grass clippings, that sort of thing. Well, I don't have a lot of that sort of thing because we have our yard mowed by a landscape company. So I bought a bale of hay, but I left it out and it got all moldy in the rain before I could find a bin the right size to store it in. I don't know if that mold is a problem for composting, but it puffs up when I try to pull hay off the bushel and that can't be good for my asthma.

Then there was the Round Up debacle. I told my yard guys to never, ever, ever use that vile chemical on my yard. I told them that years ago when they first started working for us. I haven't reminded them; I hardly ever see them since they usually wind up mowing our lawn when we aren't home. I was home once recently when they were here and asked them to take care of some over grown grass for me. I meant BY HAND, and I would pay them extra for it. I didn't think to remind them about the Round Up ban on my yard, so they sprayed it on the grass the next time they came, when I wasn't home. That weekend, I was so aggravated when I saw that they had not pulled the grass and went out there to pull it out myself. When I was all done, DH pointed out that it was awfully easy to pull out, and it looked like it had been sprayed with a weed killer. I thought it just wasn't getting enough sun or something, but when he said that I looked more closely and realized he was right. I was so upset I called and fired the landscapers. (I've since talked to the owner and re-hired them, with the promise that he will NEVER use that stuff on my yard again.) Unfortunately, however, I put some of that sprayed grass in my compost bin. Now I can't use it on the veggie garden. I don't want it to go to waste completely so I'll use it around the hedges when it's ready. But I don't have it for the garden anymore, which is a bummer.

But that's typical of my garden projects. Something always gets messed up somehow. Sigh.

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