Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let the Gardening Begin! Here's the Plan..

After a crazy weekend of bailing out two inches of storm water and sewage covering the basement floor of our new house (I know, ugh), I was able to get outside and work on the yard some. I cleaned up the entire front of the house, pulling out dead leaves, sticks, trimming the bushes and dead heading flowers from last year. I've heard of people mulching the leaves then mixing them into the garden, so if I end up making that a project, I'll be sure to share what information I find here.

Cleaning out the front yard in my favorite flannel work shirt
In terms of my vegetable garden, I'm planning on converting a jelly bean shaped space with some perennials in it into my vegetable garden. I was thinking of making and installing raised beds, but I think for the first year I'll give it a shot with what I have. I'm going to move the perennials to the side of the carport.

The jelly bean, plus some dead grass.
This is where the perennials will go from the jelly bean. I'll just move the rocks, dig out the weeds and ground cover, expand the area a little, and transplant.
I'm going to wait until the threat of frost is gone to plant all my warmth-loving plants outside (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) .. In southeastern Michigan, the typical last frost is May 15. A lot of people say it's okay to start planting outside around Mother's Day. I think I'm going to err on the side of caution and plant middle of May. Here's a list of the seeds I started, the ones with the asterisk are from My Victory Garden on Etsy. Can you believe they sell seeds on Etsy?!

Basil*, Chives, Anaheim Chile*, Swiss Chard*, Thessaloniki Heirloom Tomato*, Green Zebra Tomato*, Cucumbers, Mesclun Lettuce, Spinach, Pole Beans, Peas, Golden Patty Pan Squash* (normally I wouldn't plant squash or cucumbers inside first but I thought I'd try it to see if it works. If you do this, they need to be transplanted outside when they're still pretty little)

Phew, what a long post! Enjoy some photos as a reward!

I was so motivated to get my seeds planted a couple weeks ago, I started them before going to a comedy show with friends (high heels and all!). I bought these biodegradable planters on clearance last fall. I think next year I'll either try newspaper seed starting pots or toilet paper roll ones. They're nearly free and a great way to reuse materials.
My seeds all cozy in their greenhouse. I used very very basic potting soil just to see if they would germinate in it. And most have! Once they get outside, they should have better quality soil to grow into.
This is a greenhouse I received as a gift for Christmas. Soo easy to put together and it'll keep everything toasty until it's ready to go in the ground.

This area will be converted into an herb garden. It's on the west side of the house (good for afternoon sun) and right next to the sliding door to the kitchen. Perfect size, too!