Gardening, Live Simply

Becoming a Real Gardener

Ten signs you’re becoming a “real” gardener…

  1. You obsessively check the weather to plan your garden work.
  2. You get up earlier to beat the rain.
  3. You think you are getting stronger, but then realize the dirt is just getting better!
  4. You suddenly understand the terms clay, sand, loam and know the difference.
  5. Opening the composter is like opening a package at Christmas.
  6. You talk to the dirt and pet it just like you do your dog.
  7. Your muddy gloves don’t gross you out any more.
  8. You commit to stop at noon, but don’t because the rain hasn’t come yet.
  9. You finally stop and go inside to find your morning coffee cup still full & cold.
  10. You take excessive photos of every accomplishment and then blog about it!

Yep folks – I AM becoming a REAL gardener because this was my morning!

It has been a rough start this year. We had snow forever and then tons of rain. I feel like I am so far behind, but when I started looking at last year’s photos I realized that though I planted earlier, I also fought some nasty weather to keep everything alive and even then still had to replant some things. WOW… that was a long sentence!

garden beds

I am so excited about the dirt in the two beds I planted today. The hard work and patience is paying off. For those who haven’t followed, this is year 4 for our raised bed organic garden. The sand and compost I added in the fall made a world of difference. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to turn these two beds. I turn everything by hand with a shovel or garden spade, then I run my little hand tiller over it to break the soil up a bit more.

bad dirt

This bed however is another story. It is one of the first ones we built and it is hard as a rock. I turned some sand into it last week and tossed in a bag of mushroom compost. I’m hoping that will give it a kick start so I can at least get it planted. It will need lots of attention this season. Which I guess makes sense being it is now 4 years old.


And this…this is what I call “Black Gold.” This is year two for our little black composter bin. We found it on sale for $25 and what a blessing it has been. I will have to add a separate post about what I put in it, but today I shoveled 4 big buckets of the good stuff from the bottom (2 for each bed).

amended soil
You can see the difference it makes here. The left side is before I turned the compost in and the right side is after. This bed was horrible at the start of last season. We removed some of the bad dirt and added fresh. I continued to add compost throughout the season and then some sand in the fall. Again, this paid off as it was a breeze to turn over today.

beans planted
I’m planting the squash under the beans this year. I have 6 mounds of squash and 6 mounds of beans in this one bed with the beans around the perimeter and the squash in the middle. I put my winter squash in the center since it will be the last harvested. Summer Squash is on one end and Zucchini on the other. Two different types of pole beans – we shall see which one wins!

grey sky

So, it was a productive morning. I feel like I’m finally getting it – I’m finally becoming a real gardener. And – I beat the storm, just in a nick of time.

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