June 10, 2004
I'm a frugal gardener, by that I mean whatever I can do on the cheap, by innovation, as close to free as possible. We reduced last year by choice to one income living and of necessity now, I look for the most inexpensive ways to enhance my yard and garden.
Got late start this year. But that didn't stop me, no I bought some starter vegetables and reclaimed 1/3rd of my garden space from the grandkidlets who had homesteaded the space for a sandbox.
My husband, not much for the outdoor work, but very willing when I ask him had hand dug out the sod and lined out the space with railroad ties that he hauled from the neighbors yard across the street (it's okay, they gifted them to us). I was sooo pleased and proud of him so couldn't possibly let this garden space go to waste after his hard work.
I let my grandson have ownership of the tomato plants. I staked them using the aluminum prongs on an old antennae that came with the house when we bought it. My husband took that down last fall, and we figured if we saved it, the prongs might be useful as stakes in the garden. I used my mother's tip for tying the tomato plants using old discarded pantyhose. Well it's not very pretty, but hey, I'm practicing to be a "real" gardener so following wise gardening tips that I learn along the way.
To get the garden space ready, I put down newspapers, let the little ones hose them down (we have that breeze here ya know) so they wouldn't blow away until I could take the next step. I went and collected all my old container pots that didn't offer up any return plants after last year, dumped the used soil on the newspapers and that was the beginning.
I asked my husband, who I call Sweetie, to purchase some potting soil, (10 bags worth), then dumped that all into the space, bordered it off with concrete blocks and topped it with some top soil (only 3 bags, so thin layering). The concrete blocks are recycled from Sweetie's brick and board bookcases. We got him a new bookcase for Fathers Day and I had said at 57 he was a little too old for bricks and boards concept of bookcases, that was better left to college students and aging hippies (lol).
So the little garden space has begun. I hope to claim another 1/3rd of it from the grandkidlets and convert them to caring for the garden plants, but I'm not real sure they are ready for that, as the corn plant already got stepped on.
The garden, begun in June when the plantings were just buds is growing and growing and growing. Lots of leafy plants, but few vegetables...yet! There will be vegetables, and I'm watching now daily for the plants that grew, produced flowering buds to now transform the buds to vegetables. Ah, the chance to examine how faith works, when not being scientific about the process of gardening, it boils down to trusting, following obediently the seasons' and natures' cues, and acting, in faith, that if you act (plant, nurture, water, protect, fertilize) the garden will grow.