“I hate you, weeds!” I yelled, while furiously digging my pick into the ground. I have learned I can be a messy gardener. Somehow dirt finds a way across my forehead and twigs get trapped in my hair, but in my determination I am enjoying the workout.
Since I am currently back and forth to an apartment located in the heart of Seattle, I have chosen to use a section of my parents’ backyard for my new garden. There are a few garden beds that have been previously used for flowers, strawberries, and basil. Both the basil and strawberries return every year, but with my parents’ permission, I adopted one of the beds without any perennials. Weeds, rocks, twigs, and overgrowth have taken over, but it has healthy, rich soil, and, with a little elbow grease, will be perfect for a garden of my own. A part of the patch was covered with a strip of black plastic, blocking sun for weeds to spread and making my job of turning the soil a little easier! I wanted a healthy and happy garden, with beautiful rows of vegetables to snack on.
The size of the space is 6 feet wide and 15 feet long—a size I feel I can manage on my own. As an article I just read in The Old Farmer’s Almanac reassured me: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!
I also plan on starting several potted plants for the deck as the spring sunshine begins to come out more! I bought two bags of peat moss to mix in with the existing soil to help the seeds’ rooting process as well as help to retain the moisture and nutrients. My main tool for prepping my garden has been a long-handle hoe, letting me cut deep into the soil and turn it, pulling the weeds out. I also used one of my favorite tools of all time, the Garden Claw, which is useful early in the gardening season to turn the first soil of the year. Just place the tool in any soil and turn the handle to easily cultivate packed soil.
After the first few of hours of tedious and at times frustrating work, I found myself calm, patient, and genuinely enjoying my time outside. I also found some great tips from Almanac.com to help my garden thrive, check them out!
What are you planting in your gardens at home? Find out in my next post what I chose for my veggie garden!
Jane received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn’t writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.