Three Down, Three to Go

This picture is from April, but things aren't much better at the moment. So it doesn't really matter that I don't want to go outside and take a new picture. There are mosquitoes out there, people. Lots of them.

This is only my second year gardening. I grew up in Arizona — the land of yellow lawns and gravel raking. To say things are different in North Carolina would be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad understatement.

I've spent the last few years reading from a towering stack of gardening books (beginning with, I am not ashamed to admit, Organic Gardening For Dummies) and making many mistakes. Like letting the grass grow into the former homeowner's beautiful Garden Tour perennial beds, and then letting said grass go to seed. Yes, my home used to be on the town's annual GARDEN TOUR. Talk about neighborhood peer pressure. Or how about that time that I didn't pick out those cute little seedlings, because they looked so promising, and then they turned out to be weeds taller than me? I never bothered to pick them, so they all dropped seeds, and now I have, literally, thousands of them.

I have noticed that the Garden Tour committee has not contacted me.

But I have a good reason for ignoring the flower beds. Veggies. I want veggies! Last year, my husband and I built three raised beds in the backyard. We made the mistake (shocking) of digging up the grass without killing any of it first. It took nearly two months to dig up the grass, fill them with new dirt (a mix of peat, vermiculite, and compost), and chicken wire them (to keep out hungry bunnies). We were thankful when it was over — Think how easy it will be NEXT year! we kept telling ourselves.

I started everything from seed — tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, butternut squash, pumpkins, herbs, and bell peppers — but, of course, everything was planted late. Again, we said, that next year would be different. Things would make it into the garden on time for maximum veg.

Cut to this year. I buy a ridiculous number of seeds (adding more tomatoes, bell peppers, and pumpkins, plus jalapenos, yellow squash, watermelon, potatoes, radishes, eggplant, okra, and corn) and decide that I want more veggie space.

I know! What was I thinking?

We didn't just double the veggie beds, we TRIPLED them. And even though we set down black plastic to help us kill the grass, we're still only halfway done. So here's a note to my future seed-buying self: Yeah, that cool new seed you've never tried to grow before? IT'S NOT WORTH IT. SAVE YOURSELF. SAVE YOURSELF!


  1. Your yard is beautiful, despite the empty beds. It's so, so green! I got an herb garden for mother's day this year, so that's all we've got going on.

  2. Steph!! So glad to find you blogging! I've been thinking about you and then, voila! Your garden is HUGE! I can't wait to see what bounty will be coming out of it. I hear you about veggies - that's all I would want too. Oh, and some herbs. My Mom has a big garden and she makes sure she plants lots of veggies for me (I'm spoiled that way!). Thank God she has a green thumb because Lord knows I don't, whatsoever. I have one living plant in my place and that is an aloe vera plant. I'm shocked it's still alive.