Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Year Of Adventure: Plant a Garden

We've been busy around here! About a month ago we decided that we were finally going to get all of our yard projects done and we've spent the past month crossing them off one by one. We have a fairly big yard and it's got a ton of landscaping in it, so the upkeep on it is fairly time consuming. The past couple of years we've let it go a bit for various reasons and our to-do list just kept getting longer. One side of our fence was leaning, our wooden swingset was unstable and looking really weathered, the garden needed some work, there were some overgrown plants that needed some attention, there were some flower boxes on the back patio that were in bad shape, all the landscaping needed new was a pretty long list.

So this spring we decided that in the spirit of our year of adventure that we would do everything that needed to get done in the yard so that we can really enjoy the yard this summer. The past couple of summers we have spent very little time out there and that really needs to change.

We got lucky and the guy we hired to fix our fence is an all around handy man and we decided to have him do some of the work for us. Between everyone being sick over the past month and some of the other stuff we've had going on we decided that the projects would be more likely to get done if we hired some of it out. So the fence got fixed, he repaired our swingset and restained it and we bought new swings for it, he did some of the yard clean up, he put in new bark, he restained the garden boxes and the patio flower boxes, and did some other things for us. It was totally worth it, the yard is looking great and we spent this weekend finishing up the rest of the projects we wanted to do out there.

We were at Lowes four times this weekend, buying more plants and flowers and seeds for the garden boxes and various other yard items. I spent yesterday planting flowers and we spent all day today planting the garden. It was a bigger job than we thought it was going to be!

A few years ago we built square foot garden boxes. We had big garden planting plans but the last two summers we never got around to it.  Well, that's not completely true, I did plant a few things the first year but it was too late in the summer and nothing grew.

So that's why we added planting a garden to our year of adventure list. I feel like it's a skill that we need to improve on and it's a skill that I want to teach my children. I grew up with a huge garden in my yard when I was a kid and my mom took such great care of it. She has a green thumb, she can make anything grow. I, on the other hand, can kill a plant faster than anyone I know. It's a skill I need to work on. This yard had a gigantic garden space in it when we moved here and we've never really done a whole lot with it. It's time to change that.

So today we planted the garden. We decided to try using seedlings instead of seeds as much as we could because I can never get seeds to grow well for some reason. So we bought strawberry plants, little corn starts, some pumpkin and watermelon plants and a few other things. We love corn and since we were able to buy the little plants I have higher hopes that they'll actually grow, so we planted an entire garden box just full of corn. If it all grows we're going to have a TON of corn! I'm excited about that. I'm also excited about strawberries. Those will definitely get eaten! We've never successfully grown melon before, so I'll be interested to see if we can make those work.

We did have to plant some seeds. We did one box just with seeds. We planted lots of peas and carrots and a few sunflowers, just for fun. Like I said, I haven't been very successful getting seeds to grow in the past, but I'm really going to baby them this year and see if I can manage to get something to come up.

One thing that made it extra fun this year was that we really got the kids involved in helping. In the past when we've done a garden it was mostly just something I did myself, but this year we spent a lot of time teaching the boys all about working in the garden. Shawn helped the boys measure out the square feet and use twine to mark it and I taught them how to plant the seedlings. It will be Josh's job every day to go out and make sure the boxes are getting enough water and he's excited about doing that. It really was a fun family project. We worked on it for hours today. Planting all the little seedlings took forever. I really hope that they grow and do well because it was a lot more work to plant the seedlings than it was to just plant seeds. It will be worth it though if they grow better.

Tonight we're all tired and a little sunburned but the yard looks better than it has in years. Between the flowers and the garden and the repaired fence and the newly stained swingset and the nice bark and the other projects we've done, I am absolutely LOVING the yard right now. I just want to stay out there all day, and I haven't always felt that way about our yard in the past. I find that everyone is wanting to spend more time out there now, and I love that.

Now all we have left to do is to get the screen built for our backyard movie theater and we'll be ready to start Friday night movies in the backyard hopefully in June! I'm waiting for it to warm up just a little bit more before we start that, but I'm really excited about it!

So now I will leave you with pictures of our garden work today! Hopefully I'll be updating the photos when everything grows! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! :)


Josh said...

I had fun outside yesterday. I got all wet when I was helping dad with the sprinklers and playing with the water hose. It was funny that the other day we found the carrot growing in the garden that you planted 2 years ago! I love the new swing set, bu the way, and it is fun to climb and swing on. :-)

Josh said...

Happy Memorial Day!

Josh said...

The garden is looking really well right now. Sadly, the peas died before we got to harvest all of them. The ones we did harvest though were pretty tasty! I can't wait for everything else to finish growing!