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Green Thumb… I Hope.

March 21, 2012 - Author: Amy - 30 Comments

For reasons beyond my own comprehension, I’ve felt compelled to start a garden at the new house.

I’m not a gardener.  I’m not overly concerned with organics.  I don’t like bugs or being hot.  In short: I’m not outdoorsy.

Yet the desire remains.  D fully encourages it and enjoys the opportunity to make various jokes about “hoes”.  Ahem. 

He even bought me a gardening magazine that I haven’t read, but the pictures are real pretty. 

What I’m saying is that besides pinning a few ideas, I have yet to make a concerted effort to make my dream garden a reality.  That is, until our neighbor came over the other day.  He was tilling?  plowing?  hoeing? his own garden and asked if we’d decided where we’d like ours to go.  I mumbled something about tomatoes and waved my arm in the general direction.  D gave vague instructions as to the size, and our sweet neighbor tilled?  plowed?  hoed? us a garden bed.

It is 10×20, and I know I’m new to this gig, but that seems awful big.  Feeding an army big.  Having to learn how to can things big.

But I’m up for the challenge, I guess.  As long as the weather is nice and it doesn’t get too windy.

Here’s another view so you can kind of see where everything is.  We own all the road frontage to the right of this pic, and those red gates are the entrance to the driveway.

Which reminds me.  While the neighbor was over, his little boy came to chat and was all “Hey Amy, which tree did you back in to?”  le sigh..  I shall never live it down.  See that clump of trees?  That evil, hateful clump of trees the driveway winds through?  That was the site of my little accident

But I’m happy to report that I, my ego, the bank account, the car is fully recovered.

I may have to sell my plethera of fruits and veggies to make up for that one. 

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Categories: Home Building, Kansas - Tag:

Discussion (30 Comments)

  1. I need to get my rear in gear and decide if I want to start a garden at my new house. I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to plants either so I know how you feel. We planted a tomato garden a few years ago. About halfway through the scorcher of a summer we got busy and completely forgot to water or weed the thing but the tomatoes surprisingly still grew very well.

    Hopefully your attempt goes better than mine and you produce lots of delicious veggies!

  2. First off, I have to say that the butterfly over your car’s license plate makes me think your car has a tramp stamp. Made me chuckle.

    10×20 does seem huge. Good luck with the plantings and if it fails you can always blame weather, wind, bugs, dirt…

  3. He tilled the plot for you (basically chewed up the sod with a machine and spit it out). Now you’ll need to “hoe your rows” haha, pulling out any huge chunks of sod, roots etc. dividing the bed as you go into ‘rows’ for planting. You may want to do a little more intensive weeding (sifting through the dirt for grass roots & removing).

    That’s the easy part.

    If you have any sort of wildlife in the area (deer, squirrels, raccoons, cats) you are going to want to consider a fence of some kind, preferably taller than jumping height & of wire construction to allow light in. Squirrels can climb, so I suggest either using predator scent (you can buy sprays at some gardening stores, or get a dog to pee around the perimeter, either works) or sprinkling cayenne pepper on top of the soil every now and then as a deterrent–it burns their paws (if it rains heavily you’ll have to re-apply).

    Draw a mock up of your garden & rows, and jot some notes about what you’d like to grow. Check out some companion planting guides
    to see which plants will work well together and which are bad-news to each other (some veggies attract nasty pests for their neighbours which can be a huge pain). Now you can start planning your rows!

    Try to keep in mind that if you plant tall veggies on the sun ward side (corn, tomatoes etc) this could effect how much sunlight the row immediately next to them get. I would generally suggest planting in a east-west (row)orientation, rather than north-south to minimize ‘cutting off the sun’ after x o’clock.

    As for watering, the best time to water your plants is in the evening, or very very early in the morning (before 7am) that way you avoid needlessly wasting water on evaporation and settling the plants into a stress cycle. Periods of minor dryness are actually GOOD for the plants as it encourages them to save their energy, and grow better after being given a good drink.

    Good luck! Gardening can be a daunting task, but the rewards are well worth it!

  4. 10 x 20 isn’t THAT big, especially if you plant some sweet corn (which you should!). Then again, we still don’t have a garden at our house and this is our second spring/summer.

  5. Martina gives awesome advice there. I’ve heard a square foot garden is easy as a first-timer. And hey, plowing is the hard part, right? I’ve wanted to start a garden in my small city back yard but these darn squirrels are relentless. I tried to grow tomatoes in a large, slick-sided planter — even put it up on a tall, center-legged iron table — and they still ate them all. Sad. Definitely fence it in! Good luck! And if nothing else…planting flowers is pretty easy ;)

  6. by Erin

    I would be HAPPY to relieve you of any extra produce you may be burdened with. I’m a nice person like that. :)

  7. Kudos to you for starting a garden! It’s something I’d love to do, but I feel like I’d fail miserablely and never grow anything worth eating haha.

    And yay for your car being all fixed! Woohoooooo!

  8. Happy to see your car is in top shape again!! We also want to start a garden, but we don’t know ANYTHING about gardening! I think we’ll be keeping an eye on your garden!

  9. Hi Amy – okay, so you’ve got a task ahead of you preparing your beds for planting. Not exactly something you need this year with the move etc. My advice is to plant some pumpkins or squash and just let it go this year and concentrate on getting it done for next year.

    Martina (above) has some great advice – if you decide to actually plant a full vegetable garden, 10×20 isn’t that big. There are lots of good resources online to get ideas of a planting guide.

    Good luck

  10. Ha ha! I get all gung ho with the planting (flowers only; the pesky squirrels would eat any fruits and veggies … and don’t get me started with the rats. Sigh, city living at its best) …

    … and by about mid-July everything is looking all wilty and brown and dry!

    And you garden plot is bigger than my house!



  11. Let me take you back in time….

    Bliss; young, in love, fresh out of Los Angeles living in a rented house in the Minnesota country with the love of her life. Thought green beans always came in a can.
    Brawn; big family, mom always had a garden, eats healthy loves creating. Plants super size garden because the woman of his dreams wants to grow stuff.

    So he buys her a romantic gift. A new hoe, to which he puts her name and address on it in black sharpie so she never looses it.


  12. My hubby wants to start a garden as well, so I can’t wait to see how yours goes! Hopefully you’ll have some tips for us! :)

  13. That is going to make one awesome garden! We’ve only done flowers so far, but I can’t wait til we start our garden!

  14. My dad is a huge gardener, and has quite the green thumb. I on the other hand, have killed many cacti, and potted mums… And have a bamboo plant that is desperately trying to live. Good luck, I just can’t do it!!

  15. Haha love this post and the someecard. Good luck with your garden! I don’t have a green thumb either…

  16. I admire your energy and motivation. I’ve always thought having a garden would be lovely but lack the motivation and energy to actually get it done. I’ll enjoy watching you with yours though!

  17. My husband and I hope to have a house someday with enough land to plant a garden. We know it will be a lot of work but look forward to getting to actually grow some of the food we eat. I hope the garden works out for you.

  18. I don’t have a green thumb AT ALL. I should just get used to it, but it kind of bums me. I want to be able to grow rich, beautiful veggies but I can’t even keep a rosemary/basil/mint plant alive. I’m going to try this summer, in a potted/raised garden (oh, urban living) BUT you, you have SO much space. You can ruin half and still be good!

  19. by Barb

    If you have a green thumb you certainly did Not get it from me. I hope you do, as I plan to shop in that garden! Hope’s are not high though if you don’t work in windy conditions. This IS Kansas, LOL. I trust Dallas will pick up the slack ;)

  20. i have always killed every house plant we have ever had in the house BUT we had our first outdoor garden last year and it really flourished! something about stuff being outside helps it grow…what with the sunshine and rain and all. your first veggies will be so exciting :)

  21. 1Good luck with the garden In my head I want to start a garden. And then I remember that I don’t eat vegetables so what’s the point? And way to go big or go home on this one. No worries. ;)

  22. I’m going to do a garden this year and I’m scared. I had a very small garden in our town home and managed to neglect it pretty badly. But I’m convinced that now that we own a home I’ve somehow become more domestic and I can handle a few vegetables. I’ll pray for you if you pray for me! haha.

  23. I like to pretend I have a garden. Actually, I really do have one; we eat all the vegetables and herbs that it grows, but my inlaws take care of it. I wouldn’t know the first thing you’re supposed to do with a garden! I’m sure lots of water helps!
    Good luck!
    ;) Nice car

  24. Keep us posted on the garden. I’m going to try veggies in planters this year, but first I have to buy the planters, soil, actual plants (or maybe seeds if it’s not too late for that). I could use some pretty pictures from a magazine myself!

  25. I’m not outdoorsy either…no thanks, bugs…but I would LOVE to have a garden. Can’t beat having your own fresh produce to eat. We planted raspberries last year and I’m excited to see how they do this year!

  26. Yay! I’m so excited there’s another house blogger out there who’s jumping feet first into gardening this year! 10 by 20 is a decent size, but I don’t think it’s impossible… ours is 25 by 15 or so and I’m optimistic!

    If you need help with planning, check this link out:,default,pg.html

    It’ll tell you how much space plants need and give you a plan so you don’t have to design it yourself. Alternatively, you can design your own and still get all the info you need.

    Good luck!

  27. LOL! Just stopping by to check on you :) Glad to see your green thumb is getting ready to provide for your family :)


  28. by Zoe

    Just visiting from the new Facebook group, Midwestern Bloggers. Good luck with you gardening, the worst bit is digging the bed so you have a really great neighbor.

    Now following you so I look forward to seeing your fruit and veg!

  29. You are going to v=be happy you have a garden. That’s not to beg either. Keep in mind your need plenty of room between each plant. Zucchini plants for instance need to be planted 24 inches apart. Remember your garden is only as good as your soil. Hugs and happy gardening

  30. I admire your bravery! I want to be a gardener. I want to have a green thumb. But nope. I grow weeds. And very successfully. I hope you’ll share what you learn, and it will miraculously work for me too!

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