Sunday, May 20, 2012

Finally, the Vegetable Garden is a Go!

For three years I have been trying to develop gardens on my property here in Monticello, Utah. The ground here is horrible; a mixture of dry dirt, sand and clay; and it didn't help that the previous owner abused, not just the house itself, but the land around it. Respect was not a priority to this person at all, but we've loved up the house and made it into a home. Not for anything, but the previous owner should have paid us for the house and land, considering everything we've had to do to improve it.  Now I've been trying to get top soil to build up the front and back yards; no luck so far. One construction company wants to charge an arm and a leg for each cubic foot; and then there are those who would rather dump good top soil into the local landfill than give it away to neighbors. Sorry, but that is retarded thinking on their part.

For the past two years, I've done container gardening for my vegetable plants. Nice concept for small spaces, but you don't get those large, beautiful and numerous veggies like you would with a garden. We found a rototiller on sale at the Home Depot in Durango, Colorado last year and put it to good use this year. Choosing a section of the yard that is bordered by the wooden fence and the home (also gets 8 hours of sun), my hubby cleaned it all up and loosened the dirt with the rototiller. Amazing the junk that was buried from years of neglect, but we did happen to find a silver and turquoise ring; and a gold and turquoise belt buckle. I wonder what other buried treasure is around here? Roy built barriers from 8 foot (4" x 4") cedar posts, two on top of each other and then secured with half inch rebar (steel posts). For drainage, we put down a layer of gravel in the designated areas and then filled it with organic soil. For a walkway, I laid down shredded cedar; it's rustic looking and smells great.

There is still about 3 feet of space from the initial garden area to the edge of the house. Roy is going to finish those off with more cedar posts; then I'll plant herb plants that I'll harvest and dry for storage.

Then the planting began; a beefsteak tomato, zucchini, straight neck yellow squash, bell peppers and hot peppers of various heat intensity. I plan on adding plum (Roma) and yellow tomato plants; the yellow tomatoes are less acidic then the red.

Now here in Monticello, we could get frost up to June 15; not good for a vegetable garden to thrive in. I had a roll of heavy duty plastic (the type used for winterizing windows), tented it over the plants and created a hothouse effect to help them survive just in case that cold snap does occur.

So now it's a matter of wait and see; fingers are crossed, but I've got a really, really good feeling about it all.

Mary Cokenour

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