Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Garden

     We moved into this house 4 years ago this coming fall. Obviously, no time to plant a vegetable garden, but let me tell you what, I had plans! I had ideas about where it might go, and started imagining how big it might be. Being fall in Maine though, there was not much else I could so because any place I might possibly be able to grow anything was soon to be covered in several feet of snow.
      My birthday is in February, and one of things I asked for was a Johnny's Seeds gift certificate. While it was freezing and snowing outside, I started my seed order. I ordered seed potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, corn, beets, tomatoes, celery, onions and leeks. I watched my planting chart, and started things inside as instructed. By the time spring came around, I had plenty of seedlings growing in my bedroom window, but no garden to plant them in!

  The process of clearing sod ( the grass on the lawn, essentially) to expose the soil can be done in several different ways, and I am sure that I picked the hardest one of all, which is to cut into the ground with an edger, and then rip the grass up by hand. Once this process started, the projected size of my garden shrank several times. The first year I planted I ended up with two smallish side by side gardens. I planned on only one, of course, but I got bored of ripping up the sod on one side, and decided to start on the opposite side. The process was so arduous and time consuming that I never made it to the middle.

"the boulder"

some of the smaller hail

Of course, once the sod is removed, the rocks need to be removed too. I think I may have picked the rockiest piece of ground on my property to plant a garden. Not only were their stones of various sizes, but their were what I would classify as small boulders! After most ( or some!) of the rocks were gone, it was time to till, then fertilize, then plant.
first corn!

    This summer will mark my third year of vegetable gardening here. I have battled the soil, the rocks, the pests   (oh the pests!) not enough rain, too much rain, and even baseball sized hail, and still have had something to show for it. Each year it's getting better. Eventually the "two gardens" became one, and slowly, through the ancient scientific process of trial and error, I am learning to contend with all of the challenges mother nature throws my way.

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