Yard Update: Building the Garden

The front yard is taking shape!

So far we’ve:

  • moved out loads of dirt (I’d guess 10 or 20 yards)
  • taken out and re-poured the driveway, patios, and walkway
  • taken out and re-built the front porch
  • taken out retaining wall and rebuilt in a new location
  • Tilled clay soil under future garden beds (drat it all, we’d have done more but the machine broke)
  • Transplanted the fig tree into a large hole filled with good dirt

This week we hired someone to dig out a large trench along the top of the retaining wall, and brought in 5 yards of dirt to fill it in, to get ready for planting.  We also built two garden boxes, with supplies ready to build two more.

garden boxes in progress

cutting lumber for garden boxes

We’ll get five more yards of dirt to finish filling in the garden boxes and the trench, build the other two boxes, and then it’s just fluff work!  We have bags of steer manure to work into a stretch of plantable land that’s still too much clay composition for my liking, but an afternoon with a rototiller will take care of that.  I’ll get on top of planting this week, and see what can be done.  I know it’s way too late for most things to start from seed, but I can definitely get garlics in the ground this year still, and will see if the nurseries still have starts I could plant (broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.)  The tomatoes will be pulled up in about a month I’d guess- they’re still going gangbusters.   Yes, yes- it’s been an AWFUL year for gardening all over Washington state, but in my five years of gardening I’ve never managed to have a tomato plant set and bear fruit, beyond a mealy tomato or two.  Our yellow plum are doing especially well, and the sweet 100’s.  We’ve harvested just 2 or 3 “early girl” tomatoes, and just 1 roma.  The roma are so thick and heavy with fruit, but I just don’t think we’ll get enough sun to ripen them.  I’ll be looking for ideas to use up lots of green tomatoes!  We made a green tomato curry this past week, but I didn’t care for the flavors.  With a little tweaking, it has some potential!

I know I say this every year, especially since we’ve moved into this house, but seriously: Next year, we will have a big garden.  Because NEXT year, I will be planting in the sunshine for the first time ever!  (Our backyard is so bad, it took 5 months for my kale to get 12 inches tall, and by then so many bugs had found it, it was useless for eating.  At least our compost pile is doing well this year!)

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4 Responses

  1. I look forward to seeing your progress with it. It will be nice to not have to do a lot of mowing anymore. A much more efficient use of your space. I think we should do this as well. I cut out half of our lawn with some curvy beds filled with evergreen shrubs, but there is still room on the side for veggies.

  2. It’s going to be EPIC! (It already is!!)

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