Monday, June 6, 2016

Adventures in Gardening Part 1

Greetings and happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend. The weather was gorgeous yesterday as it was in the 80s and sunny so it was the perfect day to work in my garden. I'm new to this gardening thing so thought I'd share how it goes and the lessons I have learned along the way. I'm a total novice so am open to any and all advice!

I My friend planted my garden about 2 weeks ago so things are starting to pop out of the ground. I grew everything from seed with the exception of tomatoes and peppers. It's really fun to see things growing! So far my beets, cucumbers, and beans are pushing through the soil. My carrots haven't yet but I think they take a while longer. I ended up planting some green lettuce and radishes towards the end of the garden as I felt like I had enough room for them. We'll see what grows well and what doesn't!

We have a very healthy rabbit population in Minneapolis so I was advised early on that I needed to put up a fence if I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Otherwise, the rabbits would. I did a lot of googling around and asked friends with gardens and a couple of experienced gardening friends recommended that I get a plastic fence as it's easier to work with and less hard on the hands. So I went to the local Ace Hardware store last week and asked them what all I should buy. They set me up with 2 rolls of plastic fencing and some plastic fence polls.

After Phil finished his round of golf on Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the garden to put up the fence. It did not go so great. We quickly learned that it's impossible to pound the plastic posts into the ground. My fence looked SO AWFUL. Phil kind of shrugged his shoulders but I was perplexed. I did not want to have the ugliest fence in the community garden!

At the I do BBQ on Saturday, I met the bride-to-be's brother-in-law-to-be and the topic of gardening came up. He said the project could be salvaged if I bought 4 metal posts for the corner and buried the fence 6" deep.

Phil had to go to his mom's on Sunday, so I decided to tackle the project by myself. It's probably not ideal to do that ~4 weeks post-op, but I wanted to get it done. 2 hours later, I had a fence I was a bit more satisfied with/less ashamed of. I should have taken a before photo so you could see the drastic improvement!

 
Lesson learned:  you need to use metal poles, not plastic, when putting up a fence. Also, it would have been easier to dig the trench for the fence before putting it up. If I have a community garden plot again next year, the fence process will go much more smoothly!

Now here's hoping it keeps Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and all their friends out!

Do you have any experience gardening?

15 comments:

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Your garden looks great so far! My parents have a lot of issues with deer and birds so they had to put an entire fence around their raised beds last year, including a top! Of course, my Dad is really handy, so he whipped up a barrier in a jiffy. I am a bit more slow when it comes to stuff like that. In fact, I have some vine (indeterminate) tomatoes and they are going buck wild, so much so that they are overgrowing their cage and will probably need additional support... However, I am kind of a lazy gardener! But I think a trip to the hardware store is in my immediate future!

One thing that I am learning about is the spacing of the plants. This year I planted the tomatoes too close together, so it's going to be a fun time trying to manage and pick them. Also squash take up a ton of room, whereas radishes are small and grow really fast so you can often plant them in tangent with something that is a bit more slow growing or that grows above ground...

Charbelle4 said...

I like how you were able to have that conversation about the fence and learn so quickly what needed to change, and you were able to do it. It might not have been ideal but I'm sure you were careful and listened to your body :) It was beautiful here yesterday too!!! LOVE this time of year!!!

Marlys said...

Your fence looks great! We never did put up a fence but my garden was pretty big, but I did have trouble with rabbits! One year they ate a whole row of green beans! I used to put moth balls in the garden to chase them away and it did seem to help. Deer are the worst as they can jump over most fences, like Kyria alluded to. I hope your garden grows well and there is lots to learn along the way! Keep us posted!

Nicole said...

Your garden looks great and nice work on the fence! Looks like you have set your crops up for success. :)

Jeanie said...

I think you fence looks great, Lisa. Rick just covers his with a netting which has its good and bad points.

Your radishes should be fine. Lettuce might be a little late if it gets pretty hot -- they grow when it's earlier in the spring and cooler. But if you have extra seeds save them because you can usually get a second sowing in September. And yess, carrots take awhile -- and don't get tempted to pull them too soon. They get tall and green and then you pull out and it's a skinny little thing you can't even add to a salad! That's my hardest bit with a garden -- patience!

Raquelita said...

I was really perplexed as to why the photos didn't seem to show the ugliest fence in the world until I saw that you didn't take a before picture. I have no gardening experience as an adult. Since I'm usually gone for a big chunk of the summers for my research it hasn't made sense to try to invest the time or money into changing that. Also I have a terrible black thumb.

Good luck keeping the bunnies at bay!

Emilie said...

My family used to operate greenhouses but I did not inherit the green thumb. My parents do a lot of gardening at their house and they have a chicken coop/run inside their garden. Once we get our yard cleaned up we will be better suited to garden - hopefully next year! I give you a ton of credit for tackling the fence on your own. Way to go!!

Nora said...

I have 100% zero experience gardening. We do have quite a few flowers growing at our house now, thanks to purchases at greenhouses over the last several years. I love spring time because I never can remember exactly how the flowers look or where they are in the yard until they poke through.

I've never once grown any sort of food apart from some herbs. The herb growing did go well and I'd like to do it again in the future!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

ugh. my husband has had a heck of a time with our garden fencing. we use wood posts on the corners. I can't imagine plastic going in well ha. it has been amazing though since we live near the wilderness! we have a huge garden. this year we added more apple and peach trees and replanted asparagus. I think we have lettucs, tomatoes, peppers, pea pods, cucumbers, zuchinni and some more that I cant recall.

Gracie said...

I've never been able to make a thing grow, but next year I want a garden, so I'm excited to see how this turns out for you! Although I'll be planting MONTHS earlier than you!

Carolina John said...

Sweet! Yea the chickenwire fence will keep the rabbits out. My mother has a rabbit problem too and that works for her. The garden is looking great so far!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Oh wow Lisa!! I am so impressed that you put those fences up yourself; you're handy!! I don't know if I would even know where to start with something like that. Nice work! We do some planting, but just in pots. I gardened as a kid though, and really enjoyed it. If we had more room, I'd like to have a garden.

Amber said...

Ha ha ha ha! I have to admit I totally giggled at "I did not want to have the ugliest fence in the community garden!" I wish you'd taken a before photo for comparison but your fence looks great now! So awesome some of your vegetables have started growing already. I hope you have a very successful gardening season. So cool to be able to grow the things you eat yourself!!

Elizabeth said...

Looks great and nice job on getting back in there to fix it yourself! I'm excited to see how it goes. The first year is definitely trial & error....although what am I talking about...every year is somewhat trial and error! :) It's definitely fun to see stuff start to poke out of the ground and then start to produce though...and it's totally rewarding to eat it! :) I feel like I'm learning new things every year and frequently asking my parents or aunts how to do something better, but sometimes things just work well and other times things that should work well just don't :) This year's "new" experiment is the potatoes!

Abby said...

I think it looks great!

Probably not the best activity post op.

But I can't say I'd be any better ;) So I'll excuse you. Haha!

That is cool how much room you get in the community garden! I've always wanted to grow lettuce. I feel like you can't get good stuff at the stores. I also want tomatoes SO bad. Hopefully we can get some going this fall!