Sam sent me this picture on Sunday, March 16th! Our first sprout, Parris Island Romaine! Hooray, and talk about right on schedule! Love a prompt plant 😉 Anyway, here are a few of our more current pictures. Pretty much everything I’ve planted has sprouted. I’m waiting on Catnip, Genovese Basil and then just a few late bloomers. Not bad at all! Ever since that first sprout, these starters have sprouted right on schedule.
Our dirt arrived on the 13th, and yes it is snowing in those pictures! We were in shorts and barefoot the day before, literally, the day before!! Crazy weather in the mountains 😉 We purchased our dirt from Asheville Mulch Yard (AMY). Originally, we had planned on purchasing 2.5 cubic yards of AMY’s Enriched Topsoil but after talking to Jeff (super nice!), we decided to go for 1.5 cubic yards of that and 1 cubic yard of AMY’s Planting Mix. Sam’s dad has a friend with a dump truck and he here is dumping it out on the tarp. Sam’s off in the distance holding onto a neighbor’s pup who really wanted to get squashed. It stopped snowing and warmed up a bit, so I went ahead and filled the raised beds in the early afternoon. A couple days later, I came out armed with a hammer, nails and yarn of course to divide the beds. It looked so nice; I stood there and compared it to my garden drawings (you can see those here.) for a while.
Last item on my garden prep list was to finish my garden markers for the beds and containers. I had already made some pretty sweet clothespin markers for the starter pods (see this post) but I didn’t want to use those outside. I pulled the clothespins from our laundry bag, so they will be washed and returned after the seeds are planted. Plus, if I plant the same type of veggies next year, I will know exactly where the markers are. All about reusing! (And I just love the image of one of my skirts being held up by those cute little markers. I might even go ahead and paint all my clothespins just because they’re cool!)
During my online lurking, I found this wonderful DIY Garden Stake tutorial. I like that they are so simple. I especially like that they are pretty much free! I almost always have a random bit of paint laying around (I just love the marked down/rejected paint at Lowe’s!) and I am never attached to any of it since I just pick it up when it’s a good price. I had a lovely yellow that I had been slightly hoarding for a bit so I decided to put it to good use. On one of my many trips to Lowe’s, I asked for some paint stirrer sticks. Now, if you’re smart, you’ll count the number of markers you need…I did not 😉 Luckily, we drive past Lowe’s everyday on the way into work so it’s no big to stop. This time, there was no one at the paint counter so, after encouragement from Sam, I darted back there, swiped another handful of sticks, crammed them in my purse and ran! Is it still considered theft if it’s free? Sam says no but I still feel guilty for breaking the rules and going behind the counter.
Anyway, I didn’t put the effort into my stakes as Ms. Harper did. I opened the can of paint, stirred it with the first stick and then smeared it over about two thirds of the stick. I didn’t paint the bottom since it would be stuck in the ground and I crammed them between two cinder blocks to dry. (You can almost see them drying in the bottom left of the picture above.) This took all of no time and, as stated, I really didn’t put much effort into them. If you could see them in person, you would see drips all over and a couple got stuck together so a couple chunks are missing but they’re garden stakes, right? I don’t need anything fancy and, honestly, I know where everything will be so I don’t really need them but I thought it would look pretty. Since, as stated, that didn’t take any time and I just love to paint, even though I’m not very good at it, I decided to paint the top of one of the raised beds sides! It started raining, so I stopped…well after I put mine and Sam’s initials on another side 🙂 After they dried, I went back with my Sharpie paint pen and added on all the names. Here are some of them looking very nice with some of my gloves.
PS- Those yellow glove are deerskin and are the BEST GLOVES EVER! I don’t use them in the garden, but for heavier work they are the shit! Great sizing, thin but protective, durable, not too warm or too cold so great for all seasons, I cannot say enough good things about them. They were a bit more expensive than the normal work glove (bought them a year or two ago at Tractor Supply so can’t remember exact price) but so worth it! I like to keep my hands in nice shape for my ‘real’ job (waitress) so I wear gloves frequently. And, to be honest, I’m a bit vain about my hands. I will blame this on Sam for always telling me how soft they are and the general public for the constant nail compliments…not that I’m complaining 😉
Well, that’s pretty much the end for our garden prep work. I’m feeling confident in my planning and prep work and can’t wait to enjoy that first harvest!