Her main complaint has moved from the sore throat to the itchy strep rash, to the hives, and now to the worst of all: the dreaded strawberry tongue. Does that not look painful?? Bless her little heart! She's been a trooper.
Since she can watch an entire episode of The Flintstones without calling, "MOMMY, come sit with me!" I decided to take a look at my garden situation.
It helps that it's 78 degrees here today. Ah, did I mention I love Texas? If I look out on my yard, I can see a hint of green coming through patches of brown grass. I feel my gardening soul start to pulse, and I begin dreaming of the beauty that is to come. (And I'd better hurry, because tomorrow it might be snowing!)
Here's what' I'm working on:
As you can see, I have my work cut out for me.
The previous owners of this house must have been pretty good gardeners, because they set up two raised beds, which, in theory, should make me so excited. However, both of them have lain - weed-laden - for a very, very long time. Years, I bet. Everything is falling down or falling apart, and the soil looks more like a lawn.
But I'm determined to try my hand at growing something besides renegade canteloupe. Hey, I'm needing some serious grocery budget help! Surely I can turn my attention from growing landscape plants to growing food plants. And canning can't be that hard, right?
So today I took my electric hedge trimmers and whacked down what looked like old tomato and pepper plants, and tons of sinewy grass.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looks like there is nice soil under the mass of grass roots. As a bonus, there were several soaker hoses under there, in addition to the new weeds, which had been multiplying unchecked under the old, tall weeds.
There are some small leaves that looked like spinach (could that be possible?) and some teensy ones that look like carrot seedlings. I HATE the fact that I don't know what is what in the vegetable gardening world. I have so many questions! I need to befriend my neighbors down the road, whose perfectly prepared garden has sat, patiently awaiting spring, weedless.
In the meantime, I'm going to recklessly till it all. Seed is cheap.
There is a large fenced area around the raised beds (total area is probably 24X48 feet). Good thinking for here in Small Town. The first day we were here, Jack our cat caught a teeny mouse baby in there ("Peep!" it cried so pitifully from under his huge paw), and we have plenty of other vermin who would love to eat from the sweat of my brow. Let's keep them out, Jack. Good boy, just stay away from the skunk.
If I can borrow or rent a big tiller to break up the "lawn" around the bed areas, I think I could plant some big stuff like corn in them. Wouldn't I look like a real farmer then?
I should be able to till the raised beds with my little weed-eater tiller attachment. I wonder what other power tools I could use on this project? Exciting thought.
For now, though, for my spring garden, I want to plant snow peas, beets, leaf lettuce, spinach and carrots. Hopefully I can get some Man Help to get the beds prepped and get the first seeds down in the next couple of weeks. I am disappointed at how weak I am after less than two cartoons' worth of manual labor with power tools (is that an oxymoron?). So much for that gym membership.
But seeing things grow should make me feel strong, and maybe by the time the first harvest comes, I might be able to figure out how to can and freeze. Then wouldn't I look like a real farmer's wife?
So I have that going for me.
Any and all tips would be gladly accepted.
Will keep you posted!