Now that we have a spot in our yard that is our future garden (we talked about our garden inspiration here), we have to find a way to make it garden worthy. If you can’t tell from the picture, all of that grass isn’t exactly garden worthy. So it’s gotta go. Of course, our goal is to get down to the dirt that is typical of every garden. How did we decide to do this? Ask my back. It knows all about it.
At first, I contemplated a couple of methods to kill the grass. There was the all to easy method of roundup. I don’t know about you, but it just seems wrong to spray something that kills plants on an area that we would be trying to grow plants. Sooo, roundup is out. My next thought was to put down plastic over the grass. I’ve heard this works really well. First, the plastic keeps water out. Also, when the sun shines through the clear plastic, it heats up the grass/soil and actually destroys both the grass and any seeds that could germinate in the future. But, in this world of “I want it now”, how could I possibly wait until this plastic killed the grass? After all, we want a garden this summer. So I quickly moved on.
This lead to the final solution. I got out my shovel and started digging. Ahhh, instant gratification! Don’t we all love that? But then, an unexpected bonus popped up. As I was digging off the top layer. Lara threw out an idea to reuse our “sod.” Our “sod” is really just a mix of various weeds with maybe a couple blades of real grass thrown in. But hey, it’s growing and it’s green. We have so many bare spots in our yard. How can we turn down free sod?
So we got a twofer. (Look it up. It’s actually a word. I’m thinking this originated from the hillbilly dictionary? No discrimination at Webster) Free sod and a garden worthy plot of land, er, mini plot. Good idea Lara! We decided to put the sod by one of our gates. This area gets a decent amount of traffic and was very bare.
After I got the top layer of sod transplanted, I kept at it with the old shovel. No gas tiller here. Not even a horse and plow. My first step was to take a shovel and “plow” first. After I got the soil turned over, I went back through and broke it all up with my pitchfork. After I was done, who could have guessed I had no tiller? (besides my back!).
If anybody has any tips on how to better prepare the soil, feel free to throw them our way. (Should we fertilize, should I have done anything to the soil over the winter, etc.) This is our first garden, so I’m guessing we’ll do some learning and have some stumbling blocks along the way.
Now we are ready to start planting. What all are we going to plant? Some of it has yet to be determined. But, I’ll give a hint: we started some seeds indoors in early April. And for the rest? That is TBD at Straders. Tomatoes for sure. Likely some lettuce and herbs. We’ll keep you posted.