When Good Gardens Go Bad: Reclaiming the Jungle

I love my vegetable garden. It’s my escape, my reconnection with the Earth…my sanctuary. So when we decided we would spend the next year readying the house for sale next spring, it was with great reluctance that I gave up the idea of having one this year. We needed to replace all the wood around the raised beds, haul in compost, buy bedding plants…all in time for actual planting. Given the extraordinary length of our to-do list, the idea just didn’t seem possible — so I did the smart thing and said no.

Then I started to dream about tomatoes. And cucumbers. And fresh, crunchy green beans. And as the days passed, I began to reconsider the wisdom of my decision…and the possibility that I might be able to make a garden work after all. Then it was June, and my planting window hovered on the brink of disappearing, and I knew I needed to make a decision not just soon, but now. I reasoned that we were going to need to fix up that corner of the yard anyway…right? So it just made sense that I get some vegetables out of the deal, too…right? 😀

Unfortunately, by that point, my garden looked like this:

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And I had exactly one day to whip it into shape if I was going to get the planting done. According to my husband, it takes a particular brand of determination to tackle a project of this size in just one day. He actually called it stubbornness, but pfft…semantics, right? 😉

Hubby was an incredibly good sport about everything, to be honest, and I couldn’t have done it without him. He went off to purchase new wood while I removed the old…

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then he cut it down to size and attached the brackets for me while I moved soil out of the way and transferred volunteer seedlings to a holding bed (I found several tomato plants; bunches of dill, coriander, and chamomile; and a dinosaur kale plant…woot!).

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At that point (gardening not being hubby’s forte 😉 ), I was on my own to secure the new beds in place and remove all the weeds. The many, many, many weeds.  😯

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Then it was off to buy 14 bags of composted manure. Then more labour to spread that and cultivate it in. Then another trip, this time to the nursery, for bedding plants. I hadn’t intended to do the actual planting on the same day, but the weather forecast was for rain over the next two days, so 5:00 p.m. (bear in mind that I started at 7 that morning) found me on my hands and knees, digging holes and stuffing in plants. To quote a certain movie line, “I’m getting too old for this sh**.” 😛

As tired and sore as I was by the end of the day, however, the end result is totally worth it. We still need to fix up the paths, but the bulk of the work is done, we can cross one project off our list, and I can have my tomatoes and cucumbers and beans and basil and peppers and kale and lettuce…and even watermelon!

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And as soon as the rain lets up, I’m totally planting carrots and radishes, too. 🙂


 

 


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