A week ago Tuesday (AJ's first day of school) after I dropped AJ off at school, mom, Ryan and I headed to Home Depot. Isn't that where three generations of women go to have a fun day of shopping? No? Well we did. We were there longer then expected and had to head straight to pick up AJ when we were finished. It was a sight to behold. Most everything fit into the car except for the 4 pieces of lattice that were strapped to the top of my Pilot. A half hour drive across town with 4'x8' lattice flapping in the wind. We made it there with not a problem, we are excellent strapper downers.
When we got home we began our project right away. We were going to plant a vegetable garden. Mom already had a small plot dug up where she had planted sweet potatoes last season. After the freezes a few months ago the plants didn't really make it but she ended up with a few small potatoes at that time, they were very cute.
We decided to extend the area she already had prepared, for our new garden.
Mom's sweet potato plot, mid-deconstruction
Our plants and seeds
As we were digging we ran across quite a few large roots from the tree behind our garden area. They put up quite a fight but mom and I prevailed in the end.
This tree had been knocked over during one of the hurricanes 5 or 6 years ago. The tree was about 50 feet tall and just missed the back corner of my moms house when it came down. We cut the thing up and hauled it away but the root ball has remained and is still sicking up out of the ground. Since then it has been sending up new tree shoots which are now about 20 feet high and a new, different kind of tree has been growing from the top of the root ball, about 6 feet above ground.
Mom and I cut a few of the tree shoots down before starting our garden and J-rod came out and finished cutting the rest of them down for us. Taylor and AJ were playing in the yard. AJ loves it when Jared and Taylor are here.
After Jared had cut down and hauled away all the branches he gave Taylor and AJ a ride in the trailer...while wearing AJ's baseball helmet. It was very interesting and definitely picture worthy.
We finally rid our garden area of invasive roots and got to tilling and turning bags of soil into the sandy dirt that was there. Mom was working hard and next thing I knew she was squealing in delight...
She turned up this lovely surprise sweet potato. It was super cool! We ended up finding a total of 10 sweet potatoes, and a few dismembered ones that were victims of our digging process. Every time another one was unearthed we would sing out "sweet potato, sweet potato!" like the 'Hot Potato' song, ok maybe you had to be there. The first one we found was the biggest one and if the others had stayed in the ground longer they probably would have continued to grow, although we also never would have know they were there so it's better that we dug them up. I cooked them with dinner that night. All but two, they looked as though something had already had them for their own dinner.
This one was my favorite. It looks like a little duckie, or maybe an early Easter Chick. (Mmmm, Peeps)
AJ helped with the garden, too. He had his own little shovel and some hand gardening tools. He is a guy and digging is what guys do. Getting the area ready to plant didn't take nearly as long as both mom and I expected and it looked so pretty. When the plot was finished we started planning where everything was going to go. That took a lot longer then we thought it was going to. An 8'x8' garden seems like a pretty good size area to get started with and we didn't get that many plants. Then we remembered that we had a few plants already in the yard in pots. We also remembered that we had seeds that needed to go in the ground. Then there were the herbs that also needed to be considered. Soon our 8'x8' plot was looking a little like our own living situation. Roomy at first glance but once you get everything in place, it's kinda cramped.
After a lot of moving a figuring we found a spot for everything and here is our (semi) final product. Pretty, right? We think so.
It is our (semi) final product because there are still a few things to do. All the planting is done but we need to finish the fencing. There is a temporary fence right now but we need to add a small gate to I can get in easier to check on everything and harvest when the time comes (so excited!). We also have to tilt one of the pieces of lattice so that the plants next to it can vine up instead of out into the rest of the garden. Other then that our garden is done and now we wait and watch and tend. Some of the plants are hybrids, which is most of what you will find unless you are ordering heirloom seeds from a catalog. Maybe I'll be able to do that next season but for now I'm learning. Would you like to know what we planted? Ok, I'll tell you...
Four kinds of lettuce - Iceburg, Red Lettuce, Kale and Swiss Chard
Two kinds of tomatoes - Cherry and Early Bush
Big Bertha Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers (I already had this, we left it in a pot)
Habanero Peppers (I already had this)
Sweet Banana Peppers
We also seeded a few things:
We left all of the herbs we had in their planter boxes (Rosemary, Culantro, Oregano, Basil) and added the Parsley and Tarragon plants we got. We also seeded the Chives in a planter box so it was with the rest of the herbs.
- Today I am grateful for a big backyard (although borrowed) in Florida where there is lots of sunshine and you can plant just about anything at anytime of the year -