Since the yard is so big and my budget is so small, I decided to narrow in on a small area first. I started with the edible-garden area. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a Before picture until it was too late, but here are some of the progress pictures. If you want a mental picture of what I started with, imagine about 50 piles of weeds like this one here.
I had some helpers, which wasn't actually helpful but it made the work more interesting. They did a little weeding, a little digging, and a lot of mud pie mixing. Pajamas, snow boots, and dress up clothes were all part of the fun.
Meanwhile, I managed to clear about ten million weeds from the garden area, mix soil and fill the garden boxes, and plant all the seedlings we started indoors. Right now, I've got nine tomato plants (several different varieties), one eggplant, and some marigolds. I think I will add herbs to the mix, but not much else for now. I am new to this gardening gig and I don't want to get ahead of myself.
I will consider this garden a great success if we get to eat some good tomato sandwiches come summer time. I will consider this garden a miraculous dream come true if I get enough tomatoes to can some spaghetti sauce and salsa to enjoy during the winter. And if all goes well, next year I'll dream bigger than tomatoes.
Gardening/Yardwork is one of those things that feels particularly difficult to tackle on my own. I am, however, determined not to let my single parent status keep me from the things that feel important to me. Having a garden and a yard that I can enjoy with my kids feels important. So, on my own, I am focusing on small, manageable tasks as I try to shape the bigger picture for the bigger project. Right now I can cross a few things off my giant backyard-to-do-list, which means progress. I like progress.
Next up, I need to figure out how to get rid of the goatheads. What is a goathead you ask? It is a weed born of the devil that produces seeds that resemble a goat head with two or three horns that hurt like the dickens when you step on them. See my shoe here? Those little guys are pure evil. Can you exorcise a yard? I'm going to try.
What are you planting in your garden? Any favorite garden books, tips, websites? This beginner can use all the advice (and encouragement) you've got!
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