See what I mean? Look at all of the weeds and vines on the fence.
Earlier this week, I set out to clean it up as a part of our plan to have a vegetable garden by next summer. I secretly hope to have it ready to plant things before then. I would like to try some year-round gardening techniques that I am reading about in an amazing book that I picked up on Saturday from Barnes and Noble. More on that book later.
After a few mornings of working on things during the early hours of the day, trying to avoid the beaming Southern sun and record high temperatures we have been having this week, this is the progress that I have made.
After three days worth of mornings working in the new "garden", I now have a total of six bags of weeds, cut vines, and grass clippings for the garbage man on Monday.
These lovely guys look like tumble weeds to me. Had to go though.
Does anybody know what they are? I know that they are going to be a pest because they have left me a million seeds all over the top of the wall. I might not be missing them too much come spring time next year. I have a feeling I will be pulling up more like them before we are finished.
At one point I had to break out the weed eater to get the job done. I am not a fan of snakes, and I was having to dig around in tall grass a little too much for my tastes. As I was blasting through everything, I came across what appeared to be some very large weeds. Turned out they were trees!
I was able to use hedge clippers to trim them back quite a ways, but I quickly realized that digging up a stump was a man's job and left that to be done by my husband. I guess I haven't eaten enough spinach lately because my muscles just weren't big enough to haul it out. There is also a mimosa tree that is in the left corner of the new garden plot. My dad dug it up for us last summer, and it grew back this year! It is twice as big as last year, and about four times as big as these little guys. You're right. I didn't even go there. Leaving the mimosa for the men who eat their spinach.
I found some other interesting varieties of plants while cleaning out all of the brush.
I found a vine like plant with extremely long, sharp thorns and round, yellow berries. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know it was Nightshade.
I also chopped down what I think was a dandelion plant that was taller than me. It had several stalks. I'm still not sure if dandelions can grow to be that massive, but I have no other explanation as to what it was.
And I might have snipped the beginnings of a grape vine that was climbing over onto our fence from our neighbor's yard. I have been kicking myself for that. Oops.
But I didn't find any snakes. Lots of grasshoppers, ants, roly poly bugs, and creepy crawly spiders, but no snakes. Man, I sure am grateful for that.
We still have a lot of work to do to get this garden plot ready. Here is what's next on our garden to do list:
- Add more split face cinder blocks to the wall.
- Dig out tree stumps.
- Level out the very steep ground with top soil.
- Remove rocks from the dirt.
- Treat ground for unwanted bugs.
- Treat ground for weeds.
- Have my dad build a small ladder so we can climb the wall to get into the garden. (Mainly for me, because I am so short.)
- Build a compost pile.
I am drawing inspiration for this garden from several different sources, but two of them in particular are well worth your time and reading. If you have not been to visit The Prudent Homemaker you really should. I have added a link to her site in the sidebar of my blog. This woman is amazing in so many ways. Check out her garden. It will make your jaw drop.
Also, if you are bran-new to this whole vegetable gardening thing like we are, and are wanting a totally user friendly gardening book that is full of pictures, this book is a great resource for finding lots of info about year-round gardening: Backyard Harvest, A Year-Round Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables, written by Jo Whittingham. Here is a link to it on Barnes and Noble.
Leaving you with something fun, this is where my green beans grew in the first garden that I had at our house. The rusty old bed frame was pulled out of a dilapidated shed on my grandma's farm. Who knows how old it is, but it is such a pretty thing when it has green beans all over it. I can't wait to see it like that again.
P.S. If you have a vegetable garden or you know someone who does, and you have any advice or pointers that you would like to share with me, I am all ears.