Just a quick, picture-heavy post to highlight my 2019 garden.
Back in January, I posted this on Instagram:
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So many projects, so little time. There’s writing, blogging, moming…and now that last week’s rain is gone – gardening. . EVERY year, I plan out a garden. ? And I’m always like “this year is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!” And I put all the planning into things, but it gets too hot or I don’t know how to mulch or there’s too much sun or I get lazy and don’t harvest at the right times and by mid summer, my garden is a bust. . But still – every year at this time I plan a garden. Except for last year. We moved mid-March finally to a place with a huge yard deserving of an actual “best” garden. I threw together a garden last spring, but gophers and heat and unprepared soil destroyed it. . THIS year though. This year. I’ve had a whole year to think about the space and how to gopher proof and build shade protection and draw out the space. . This year will be my year. . I’m still doing that @hopewriters IG challenge. Today’s prompt is: Inspiration. . . #hopewriterlife #inspiration #gardeninspired #gardenplans #gardenplans2019 #2019garden #mybestgardenyet #zone9garden #socalgarden #ilovethesun #outdoorpeople #urbanhomesteading
And though it’s taken me 3 months, I’ve finally done it. I’ve actually created my best garden ever.
It’s taken a lot of small bits and pieces here and there during nap times and weekends with Kyle at home who can watch the kids while I work. It’s taken power tools and paintbrushes and shovels and wheelbarrows.
It’s been a lot of work. A Lot Of Work. When I’d rather be doing other things, and when it felt like I was never going to be completed.
But sigh. It’s done. (mostly. There’s a couple minor things to still do) Enjoy the photo dump.
In The Beginning:
All The Work:
There was having supplies delivered (and hoping toddler don’t fall off while I snap a pic),
building planter boxes,
cutting wire cloth to go underneath them all (because gophers),
digging up uneven mounds of dirt in the front yard in order to move it all to the garden beds in back,
and starting plant starts in a makeshift greenhouse.
And then there was this last planter box that for some reason I decided to make my “deep root” bed in case I eventually decide to grow root vegetables like potatoes – and I dug out the whole darn thing only to refill it back up again. Because I’m crazy & apparently hate my life. (seriously, why oh why did I spend so much time doing that? Next year, I’m totally growing an entire bed of sweet potatoes just to make myself feel like it was worth it)
It’s All Coming Together:
Apparently there was very little regular picture taking of things growing though. So here’s just a bunch of pictures (in somewhat sequential order) of various garden beds at various stages.
And lastly! Before/After Comparison Pics!
I’ve been doing additional backyard improvements as well, eventually I’ll get around to finishing those and taking pictures and maybe do a separate post. But the garden has been the biggest project.
I know it’s already May now (so you might not be looking for garden supplies anymore), but in case you’re interested, here are some of the things I used:
Mesh Wire Hardware Cloth – I used this to line the bottom of all my garden beds in order to keep out the gophers. At some point, I plan to buy more of this and replacing all the weaker chicken wire in my coop.
Wire Stakes – I used these to “nail” down the hardware cloth above into the ground. These actually came in extremely helpful and I highly recommend them if you’re doing to use wire mes under your garden beds or chicken coop or what not. People use these to stake down artificial grass; I actually found other used for these in the yard too.
Vegetable Garden Seed Bank – this was kind of a cool discovery. $30 for 55 varieties of seeds. Not only was it cheaper than buying seed packets individually, but I also didn’t have to spend time looking for heirlooms or researching varieties. I tried out a lot of these seeds this year, but I still have a ton let to use in the future too. If you’re wanting to try out a bunch of different stuff in your garden and like growing from seed, buying a seed fault is a good idea.
Herb Garden Seed Bank – see above. This is basically the same thing as the vegetable garden seed bank, only for herbs.
Recycled Paper Planting Pots – these are my favorite things to use to plant seeds in. I like that I just plant the entire plant start into the ground. I also have this where you can make pots out of old newspaper. While it’s a great idea and I love it and have used it i nthe past, it’s extra work so I opted for the pre-made pots this year.
Plant Markers/ Popcicle Sticks – they work and they’re biodegradable. Someday maybe I’ll paint cute little rocks to be plant markers, but right now, I ain’t got time for that.
GRK Star-Top/Drill Wood Screws – ok, I actually bought these at Lowe’s and not Amazon. And I’ve used them for waaay more projects than just building the garden beds. I’d previously only used the usual phillips-head screws and I was pretty bad at stripping the screws and ahem, ‘screwing’ everything up when I’d build things. I only discovered these star-top screws once I started all my new building projects late last fall and they make a HUGE difference! I have them in several sizes to help me complete whatever hairbrained idea I randomly get into my head. Coupled with my new power drill (see below), these screws just slice through wood like butter. They make building things a joy, not a struggle. I mean, who knew that the screw you used to complete a DIY project would make sure a difference?? But they do, they really do.
Black & Decker Power Tool Set – I also got these from Lowes, not Amazon, and I got them on a sale for a good bit cheaper than Amazon lists. Also, these were my birthday present (I’m so weird that I wanted power tools for my birthday, lol), and these are soooo great!! I use the drill on a very regular basis. The circular saw has come in extremely handy in my building projects. I’ve only used the reciprocating saw once, but I have appreciated the light when I was finishing projects in the evening, and the extra battery is a god-send. If you’re looking for a good starter power tool set, this one’s been good to me!
Sun Shades – there’s so many of these out there now, and the ones I used I bought for cheap from Facebook Marketplace. I’m trying them out because the sun is brutal in the summer and I’m hoping that offering my garden a bit of shade during the day might halp it last for longer into the year. We’ll see. Oh, and not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but I cut small circles into the fabric that I’m hoping will cut down on the wind – we get some crazy gusts at our house a few times a year, eek!
Cheap Carport – hah, we also bought this at Lowes I think. We got some cheap carports for our cars last year. But then a couple bouts of good wind blew them away (like blew them across the yard; it was crazy). Several of the poles were broken/bent beyond repair and Kyle wanted to throw them out but I was like, no way! We spent money on these things; I’m gonna find a use for them! So I did. I don’t suggest you go out and buy this new, but if you can find someone giving away carport poles for cheap/free on craigslist, using them in your garden is something to consider.
Thanks for checking out my best garden ever!! ?? I can’t promise that I’ll be on top of things and remember to post garden updates throughout the summer, but I will try!