Friday, May 24, 2013

Get Into The Garden

I've had to trick myself into going into the garden. Last year, after moving into our new house in May, we rushed to get the garden plowed up and planted. And then I just let it do its thing. What I discovered, however, is that you can never just sit and let a garden "do its thing". If you do, without even realizing the weeds take over practically overnight, your tomato plants grow exponentially before you have a chance to pinch off any suckers, and your squash plants take over everything until you can't find where your pepper plants were. Let's just say my gardening plan was majorly flawed.

This year we're trying a different tactic. I changed my garden to raised beds using the plot markers, put down newspaper and a bunch of mulch and the biggest key: I told myself I had to spend at least 5 minutes gardening a day - I would not only be taking care of my garden, but I would also receive much needed exercise and therapeutic relaxation at the same time!

The amazing thing about the 5 minute promise to myself is that I rarely only spend 5 minutes. Most days I spend a lot longer digging, weeding, pruning, etc. But if I told myself I had to work at least 15 minutes, I don't know if I would feel as motivated to get out there, especially if the day was hot. 5 minutes though - I can do that!

So far, this method has been working great. Minus days that it's raining, I have been outside gardening way more than I was last year. Some days I get a lot done, other days I don't. But the point is that little by little I'm making progress and keeping tabs on what's going on with our property. One day I just spent hacking at an ugly bush by our front porch. Another day I dug up a miniscule part of our heavy infestation of daffodil bulbs and planted some along the front of our property by the street. (That was way more work!) Sometimes it's hard to grasp that little tiny efforts along the way add up in the end. The nice thing with gardening is that you can actually see the fruits of your labor fairly quickly. If you don't do anything, though, the weeds will let you know - that's for sure!
Raised beds using plot markers.

A massive carpet of daffodils. It's ridiculous.
The cute fuzzy little caterpillars (tent worms) that I suspect are responsible for deflowering our entire pear tree and some of our currant bush. Arrrrh!!! We definitely need chickens!
A pretty iris - this is the only one of this color on our property. 

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