Recent weather has been custom-made to order, so the garden project is officially underway.  I had a few issues come up over the past few weeks, but here’s how everything played out:

Not-So-Square-Foot-Gardening:  I was supposed to make my soil mixture from equal parts peat moss, vermiculite and multi-ingredient compost.  And to fill my 15×5 foot raised bed, I calculated that I would need 14 cubic feet of each.  I bought the peat back in February at Home Depot.  The vermiculite and compost were going to be another story altogether.  For starters, vermiculite is pretty hard to come by locally. Shipping was going to cost me twice the vermiculite price, so that put a pretty good pause on my planning.  My second issue was that the compost needed to be multi-ingredient compost, not just single source stuff.  One day while driving home down I-49 with the kids I told them to read the landscape supplier’s phone number off of the big red sign looming over the interstate so I could inquire about their compost.  I dialed them up, and whaddaya know? Their compost is multi-ingredient, with peat and wood chips already in it.  The gentleman explained that wood chips serve the same purpose as vermiculite in the compost.  Taaa-daaaa.  (Yes, I returned the 7+ bags of peat to Home Depot!) That Saturday, we filled Dom’s truck bed with 1½ yards of compost, which was actually more than enough for my garden area.  The next weekend the planting would begin!

We grid the garden area with string in accord with the SFG guidelines, and I mentally ran through the list of what I would plant.  The whole family was excited about the planting…for about twenty minutes.  Then I suddenly noticed I was the only one standing in the garden.  To make matters worse, every dang square looked just like the others, and I couldn’t tell where I had just planted.  So I have accidentally married Sugar Snap Peas and Squash in one square and Carrots and Parsley in another – may the best sproutlet win.

 Now, since my garden is growing from seed, it looks nothing like the wonder of my friend Sabrina’s garden.  She has beds all over the place, and although her crops are new they already look healthy.  I love that so many people are backyard gardeners!  Healthy food makes healthy meals, and if you look at Sabrina’s site, you’ll see that her meals look delicious as well!

So, here we are in our third week of gardening and I have tiny sprouts in every square except the asparagus, parsley and thyme sections.  Itty-bitty carrot sprouts, some ADORABLE squash sprouts, peppers, spinach, and even my green beans and basil are peeking through the soil.  Aaron’s Science Fair cherry tomatoes are standing tall, and the other tomato sprouts seem to have adjusted equally well to their new home.    Eeep!!

A cousin to the backyard garden, my front flowerbeds suffered quite a bit this winter, but I have noticed some lilies, begonias, mums and geraniums returning with gusto.  And my hostas and hydrangeas are rebirthing themselves too!  My next addition to the front of the house will be some Double Knock-Out Roses, and I think I’ll plant more herbs in the front beds too.  Let’s see just how leafy we can make it over here!