I’ve been doing a long term sub for the past few weeks, and I forgot how hectic life is when you have a full time job. Most of my play time has been cut out. No jaunts to the park with the boys, no story times at the library, and no playdates. For once I thought I would have an amazing garden, but time for that was slowly slipping away, so this weekend I went with the improvised, get-r-done approach to gardening and have the sore muscles and blisters to prove it.
Our mess of a garden really started last year. Our tiller broke, and my husband had the wonderfully economic idea of just letting the pigs till it up. Genius! Now let me tell you the downfalls to that plan:
My advice: Just buy a new tiller.
My husband was also trying to be helpful when he suggested laying out hay last year before planting to smother any weeds. He wanted to save me some time, which is so sweet of him, but instead of doing it with a plan he just threw a whole round bale in the garden. Our garden is not very big. One square bail might have done it. He didn’t even really lay out the whole round bale either. It took a foot before I could get to dirt for planting. I just started moving it out in handfuls because it was easier to pick up than to actually rake.
He then burned some of it off, along with one of the posts at the top of the drive, but we didn’t need it anyway. I’m just glad the fire went that way instead of toward the house. Well, it would have solved our construction problem, but no, I digress and I do love my house, or what I picture it will be. I raked off whatever hay was left in the garden and it was ready to till. He worked on the tiller to no avail. He asked his parents for their tiller, and what do you know, it’s not working right either. I even suggested using the pigs again, as long as we didn’t feed them in there, but I guess the idea of dragging them back and forth multiple times didn’t appeal to him.
So this weekend I decided it was time to just do it without tilling. I went out with a hoe and broke up the dirt in any place I wanted a plant. It was hard as a rock and it took a little water, some elbow grease, and some angry thoughts, but I got it done (with some serious blisters and a core workout that would create jealousy from any gym groupie). Most of my time was spent excavating little plastic dinosaurs that my son had planted weeks ago in hopes of digging up fossils later. That was my own fault because at the time I saw it as a way to keep him busy so I could clear the garden, but I didn’t think about the future, which would be him digging up all my plants to find his fossils.
I also spent time caging the tomato plants ahead of time, which is a first. We usually wait until they are huge plants and it takes two of us to maneuver them into the cage without breaking the vine. My husband then suggested I cage everything, you know, to keep them safe from a four-year-old that never looks where he’s going. He’ll obviously fall over the cages, but at least he won’t step on the plants.
After spending hours in the garden, I went inside to relax. My back was sore, my hands hurt, and I was covered in sweat and dirt. I just laid on the floor and let the baby pinch and bite me. I was too tired to defend myself.
Then my husband came in to inform me that there is a rabbit hole in the garden, with a whole nest of baby bunnies. So either my four-year-old will pick at all my plants or the bunnies will eat them. Just great! Just great.
Maybe next year I’ll have a winning garden. I do not plan to do it myself, absolutely not. When I win the lottery, my gardener will do it for me while I read books and and delegate. LIving the dream people!