Monday, July 28, 2014

Preparing My First Garden

I've been saying I am going to start a small garden in my backyard raised bed for a couple years now. It's just always the wrong time of year, or we can't afford to spend money getting it started. Well on Friday after doing a little more research, I got the gardening itch again. Yes, I know it's almost fall but I just couldn't help it. Saturday morning I decided to call our local Star Nursery and figure out how much top soil I would need to fill my raised garden bed. They were extremely helpful. I gave them the dimensions of the raised bed and asked for a 50/50 mix of soil/compost (which is what their top soil consists of). He told me I would need 1 and 1/4 yards worth of top soil. I talked to my husband about it and surprisingly he said, "Why don't you just have them deliver it?". Wait, what? Just like that? Why haven't I done this sooner? (I'm thinking the amazing breakfast I made Saturday morning had something to do with my husbands decision!) So I called them back and had them deliver the soil the next day.

 I prepped the bed for the soil on Saturday. It has been sitting half empty for over a year now. I just had to go through and break up the dirt a little with a pick. My husband already has a water line running to this planter for me. When he fixed all our sprinklers in the back yard, he also ran a line to my planter box for a future vegetable garden. He's so great! All I have to add are the drip emitters which is super easy.

Sunday morning the soil came. I knew it wasn't going to be the most fun in the world shoveling dirt into wheel barrows and hauling it to my back yard. I live on about 1/3 of an acre people, and they dumped it in the street in front of the house. It's not the shortest trip.

Lyric fortunately took an extra long nap while Melody and I hauled the soil into the planter one trip at a time. Melody helped me shovel the soil into the wheel barrow. I wish I was able to get a picture because she was such a great helper!

I had to do almost all of the work myself (well with a little help from Melody), since my husband had some work to do on a friends roll cage.

Even the dogs were hiding out in the garage in the cool air!
I seriously underestimated how much work it was going to be! It was so hot outside! A storm was rolling in, too, which made it more humid. Ugh! 

My husband came to my rescue and helped out a little in the end. Here is the planter about halfway through.

I am going to wait until September to plant anything, though. I've heard it's just too hot right now for any seeds to germinate. In the mean time, I'm going to test the soil and see what nutrients, if any, that it needs. I'm not sure how well a fall garden will work out for me as my first garden, but hey, maybe it will help me to have a better spring garden. I'm hoping the huge rain storm we had last night was a good luck sign! Some things I'm going to try growing for fall are :
I'm planning on using mostly heirloom, organic seeds to start. Then if I'm able to, harvest the seeds to use for next year. I will be doing a lot of research and any input on vegetable gardening in the Las Vegas desert would be greatly appreciated! I have to thank my friend Lindsay for all her help and guidance! Check out her blog HomespunSprout

What are your favorite things to grow in the fall? How did your first garden turn out?

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