Vegetable Gardening & DIY Garden Markers

by Ashley Weeks Cart

The new house has 10 kitchen garden beds. TEN!

That’s 1, 2, 3, 4… oh my lord I’m already out of breath the number is so high! And James and I have exactly ZERO experience with vegetable gardening.

According to my math that means we’re likely to have a zero percent success rate, because anything times zero is doomed.

Thus I have predicted a crop of zero vegetables to show for these 10 beds. But that sure isn’t stopping us from trying! Courtland looks optimistic in the above image. James? Not so much.

We’d been resisting the urge to plant because we figured that we should educate ourselves a bit about the process, but every time I opened a book or turned to Google, I would become overwhelmed by sowing dates and soil quality and thus delay the process further.

One morning we decided to screw the education bit of the plan and began to till the land.

Till the land. I still cannot keep a straight face whenever I make such a claim. Me. Tilling the land. It’s an exercise in paradox.

Between a seed packet sale to benefit the local elementary school and the most thoughtful housewarming gift of seed packets from the beautiful catalogue of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, we were ready to go.

And so tilled and sowed we did…

We even mixed in some of our compost, as we have quite the pile going up at the barn. In 5 weeks or so, when the chicks are big enough to move up to their permanent coop, they’ll have full access to this compost pile to help in the process. I’ll write another post about compost. Eventually. But it also looks like a thrilling mound of dirt. Albeit healthy, nutrient rich, wonder dirt.

Courtland is a brilliant helper in all respects. Whether it’s turning compost…

Or weeding the garden…

To mark these mounds of dirt and track the success (er, failure?) of our sowing efforts, Sunny and I made up some simple garden markers using popsicle sticks, clothespins, permanent markers and her birthday water colors. It’s fairly self explanatory…

Simple yet effective. My kind of DIY.

It’s been over 4 weeks since we planted, and about half the beds are really starting to take shape. We even had our first meal with ingredients directly from the garden this evening. Details forthcoming… but I will say, thank the sweet baby Cheez-its for James, The Expert Weeder. Our garden would be netting zero without his efforts.

Photos: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart