It's one of those little projects that quickly turned into a big project (they always do!!! right!?). But it's one that we have grown to love!
I think that my many years of watching my grandma Angie tend to her giant garden, grow seedlings in her basement and then can her own food has helped me during this process. She left a huge impact in regards to my gardening desire. Even in college I loved to come home and pick cherry tomatoes from my mom's porch garden and eat them. A fantastic midnight snack when coming home from a long night out with girlfriends.
The beginning, the idea: Our neighbor Nate got this tutorial from here Raised Self-Watering Garden. We doubled the size of the garden and built two of them. What can I say we have a BIG family and I hope if we're successful this year then maybe we could can and preserve fruits and veggies next year.
Before anything was even built we bought seeds from here SEEDSNOW (non-gmo's)
And then started growing them in our basement.
John and his big helper Kellen.
He really whipped these out pretty fast one night after dinner.
Props to John on his FIRST real carpentry project. I'd give him an A++
And all I did to help the build was hold some pieces of wood and staple some pond liner in.
We watched our seeds grow...
then we transplanted and they grew more...
and more and they overtook my bedroom while we waited for Mother's Day to pass. This is the day everyone in CO waits for to plant because here it can be 80 one day and then snow the next. But not likely after Mother's Day.
These are the pipes at the bottom that fill up with water.
And then we shoveled (a ton of dirt!) 6 cubic yards of a compost dirt mixture into wheel barrels and then into the gardens while a giant storm rolled in. We hustled our hinney's off!! I mean uber fast!! We watched the dark clouds flood in the last hour or so of shoveling. I kept envisioning all of our dirt being washed away when the rain came. Lot's of dollars spent rolling down the street was enough to motivate me to bust my hump. And we made it just in time.
After filling the bottom tubes with water this is the drip tube that let's us know it's full below.
First round of planting complete.
On the long "to do" list is to stain that washed out fence behind the gardens.
I put 90% of our tomato plants in pots so they wouldn't take up garden space.
A sunflower from the little boys preschool class.
An unused lattice that we had on the patio that used to provide privacy for a hot tub that the previous owners had. We took it apart and put it up against the fence in hopes of letting some of our potted peas, green beans and squash crawl up it and use it for support. I have no clue if it will work. We'll know in a couple weeks tho.
In the front portion of the lattice we added a small mulched area with a couple blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bushes. And on the other side of the yard we have the two plum trees and two apple trees now (we planted one of each without knowing you need two of the same in order to get fruit) We're learning all kinds of stuff as we go.
Our tiny plants in the beginning.
In the Garden and Pots we have:
Red and Orange Bell Peppers
Tomatoes (all kinds)
It's getting there. We can't wait to harvest and eat some of our hard efforts.
Our backyard is utilized so much. We don't have many bugs in CO, so it's really easy to just hang out in the back and be comfortable.
Awkward mid-air position?!? I did land on my feet actually.
Since we do spend so much time back there it's worth the time, effort and money to make it look nice and feel like an extension of our home.
And if we can make it an edible back yard that's an even better bonus!