Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lessons in tilling and marital bliss... an organic garden in progress!

Well... tilling doesn't always cause marital bliss but for my husband and I, it was a really fun joint project that made for an awesome day! He's been working or in class every night this week so we were really excited he had Saturday off. So how do we spend it? Not sitting around eating bon bons and watching movies but creating a garden in the backyard. And I didn't even have to bribe him! We had a lot of fun and learned a lot as well.
The first thing we did was go to Home Depot and get a tiller. After reading online and talking to people, we thought we needed a rear tine tiller... until we saw it. The rear tine is much bigger and was never going to fit into the small hatchback we have. We went with a mid tine tiller (Farmer Matt, you were right :-). It cost $39.00 for four hours which was perfect. It was definitely worth the cost for what it saved in sweat.
I'll tell you a little about what we learned using a tiller for the first time. My husband tilled the most for the first 30-45 minutes. After a few initial tries we figured out the wheel on the front definitely needed to be pulled up and out of operation. Also, the lever on the back was a good thing. It kept us from running away with it like a cartoon character. If you push down on the handles and let the lever drag in the dirt it's much more manageable! Here's my cheesy info graphic:

That's really it! It's much easier than I thought it would be and honestly kinda fun. You're sure to be sore the next day but it's worth it.
Then it was compost time! We called The Compost Farm in Brentwood & they helped us figure out how much we needed. Their compost is organic and they also sell soil & mulch. You can find out more about them here: For our job we needed 10 bags and they were $7 each. It was pretty expensive but since this was our first time creating the beds, we went with it.
Here's us spreading out the compost:
Our lab, Bama, thought it was the greatest thing that mom & dad were outside with her all day!
I've read that you don't want to till too much or you'll destroy the composition of the soil, so once we spread the compost we went back over the beds once or twice and we were done!
Now I'm waiting for my seedlings to get bigger and I'll transplant. Later this week I'll talk about what I'm planting and how the seedlings got started.
If anyone has advice or expertise to share please leave some comments! I'm really, really excited about my first garden and any input would help!
Goodnight everyone!

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