A proverb from me: A sunny day makes the heart happy.
The temperatures climbed today and gave everyone around here a bad case of spring fever. And then to make matters worse, a Gurney’s Seed Catalog arrived in my mailbox.
Oh the joys of gardening! I would love to reap the rich rewards of a well planned garden. But alas, the word “plan” is not really in my vocabulary.
I’ve never been a planner. I wasn’t taught to be, and it’s a good thing because it just doesn’t suit me. I would rather meet each day as it comes. Head-on. I don’t lay out my clothes the night before, nor do I pack my lunch. I’d rather be in a frenzy every morning. Obviously.
I rarely think about what’s for supper until my stomach growls and then I realize I have no meat thawed. Good thing I love cereal. If only my husband would learn to love it half as much.
The occasions I have planned, have usually gone okay, but I’ll tell you what. When those plans get a kink in them, I don’t bend easily, which is why it’s best for me to not plan at all.
With one exception. The one area of my life that I am forced to plan is my job. And let me tell you, it was a lesson learned the hard way. Teaching a classroom full of kids typically means if you don’t have every single second of their day filled, they’ll find something to fill them with. Which usually isn’t good. So I am diligent about planning my school day. I have to be, I learned early that it saves me from heartache, high blood pressure, and murder. Nevertheless, it was a hard habit for me to attain.
And then there’s the garden. You can’t really have a garden if you don’t plan for it. One year I attempted to grow pumpkins without planning. Or watering. And that just doesn’t really turn out well. I don’t advise it.
This year I’ve decided to be a planner in the garden. I’m playing offense instead of defense. I’m being proactive rather than reactive. I will have pumpkins in October not December. My summer will be filled with the earth’s bounty.
I am experimenting with a gardening technique I read about called a No Dig Garden. Basically it is gardening on top of the ground, layering your soil with organic materials that compost and feed your soil and you don’t have to dig. It doesn’t matter what kind of condition your soil is in either.
It’s kind of like seven layer dip: the beans, the sour cream, the salsa, the guacamole, the lettuce, next the tomatoes, the cheese, and if you must eat those nasty little black olives, go ahead.
I did a little studying up on the No Dig Garden Technique, filed it away in a filing cabinet in my brain under G for gardens, and went about my business.
Well on Sunday I was piddling around out at The Place while Jason worked inside our little trailer house and I decided I’d just go ahead and get started on my garden. No time like the present right? So I chose my garden spot, then I began the layering process.
This is the recommended layers:
- Start with newspaper or cardboard
- Then a little alfalfa
- Add a little nice manure (chicken, horse, cow, whatever you’ve got on hand) or Commercial Fertilizer
- More fertilizer
Next you water it well, and you can begin planting seedlings for an instant garden.
This sounds wonderful right? So I began laying down leftover cardboard from a gajillion boxes of laminate flooring we purchased. The next layer is manure, so I got a bucket and a shovel and walked out to the pasture to find some. I soon found out, a bucket of crap doesn’t go very far on a garden plot. After about 3 buckets full of grunt (my grannie’s word for dookie), I was about 1/5 of the way completed, and I happened upon my husband, who eyeballs my project and calmly quips, “You’ll never finish that before sundown.”
I gaze off into the west at the hot ball of gas nearing the horizon. Sundown? Oh yeah. That’s when it gets dark. I can’t build a garden in the dark can I? Hmmm, just another example of my inability to plan. Nice thinking, beginning a lengthy project at 5:00 in the evening.
Since my daylight was short, I then decided to use two buckets instead of one and walk faster. Back to the pasture, shoveling my poo, carrying two buckets to the garden, dumping them on the cardboard, doing the fast walk back to the pasture, shoveling my poo, carrying two buckets to the garden, dumping them on the cardboard, doing the fast walk back to the pasture, shoveling my poo, carrying two buckets to the garden, dumping them on the cardboard.
Needless to say, I was never happier to see the sun go down. I found some bricks to lay on the cardboard so the wind wouldn’t carry them away, and then I high tailed it to the bed.
I don’t know when I “plan” to return to my No Dig Garden. Or if I “plan” to at all.
A roto-tiller is sounding pretty good right now.