A Vegetable Garden Interrupted….

Vegetable Garden

Our first foray into vegetable gardening, as a family, was well on it’s way to becoming reality…. the site had been selected, the seeds purchased, the time set aside in our schedule and then….life happened.

I had a vegetable garden as a child.  My father made raised planters for me and my siblings.  We would select what we wanted to grow inside.  For me, it was usually a combination of vegetables and flowers.  As a horticulture student in college, we had to grow our plot of vegetables at the school farm and I have also helped plant vegetable gardens for charity.  But, that is really as far as my vegetable gardening experience goes.  

The entire family has been looking forward to having a vegetable garden, especially the kids.  I am a planner and so I love to plan things out ahead of time.   At first everything was going very smoothly.  We had a good site, that faces east, ensuring the garden would receive some relief from the hot summer sun in the afternoon.

Vegetable gardening

As you can see, there is not much going on in this area. 

Vegetable gardening

First, we tackled removing the existing shrubs.  We decided to try to transplant them into another part of the garden.  First, I pruned them back severely in order to remove most of the leaves.  

*Since the shrubs would lose many of their roots and therefore their ability to take up water when transplanted – I made sure that most of their leaves were removed since they would lose a lot of water through their leaves, which would lessen the chance that they would transplant successfully.

Vegetable gardening

I immediately put each shrub into a pail of water for a good soak.  To be honest, I do not really care either way if these shrubs survive.  I guess that sounds heartless, but it is the truth.  They have never done that well for me, but if they survive being transplanted, perhaps they will like their new location better.  Although we have attached them to our irrigation system, they will require extra water, which we will supply for the next few weeks.

**In the desert, it is best to dig up plants and transplant them during cooler weather and should not be done in the summer.  It will also help them if they are shaded temporarily.  This can be done easily by just placing a patio chair over them for a few weeks.

Vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening

We, (meaning my husband), raked back the gravel (rock).  The kids can be seen in the background looking at what remains of their “Children’s Flower Garden”.  We will transplant some of those flowers to the new vegetable garden.

Vegetable gardening

I am so blessed by the men in my life 🙂  They never complain about helping me in the garden.

Vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening

Then it was time to loosen up the existing soil to a depth of about 1 ft.  Although I do not appear in any of these photos, I was working.  I dug up my share of soil. – my sore back proved that the next day.  Projects seem to take longer when you have to keep pausing to take a picture of each step 😉

We were now ready to go to the store to buy soil, compost, manure and wood for our vegetable garden.

buy soil, compost, manure

We had fun at the garden department and came away with soil, manure and step stones, which were on sale.  The step stones will be used inside the garden so that we can easily access the vegetables without stepping on them.

It turned out that we did not have room for the wood, so would have to return the next day for that.

After we had loaded up the car with all we had bought….the car would not start.  We had a dead battery.

This was only the first interruption of our vegetable garden project.  Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow….

**Thank you for the well-wishes for my oldest daughter, who broke both of her feet last Thursday after falling down the stairs at her apartment complex.  She is doing fairly well, although it is hard for her to get around.  We are taking her to the orthopedist today to see what he has to say.

A Vegetable Garden Interrupted….Again

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
17 replies
  1. Rose
    Rose says:

    Looks like you have some great helpers in the garden, Noelle. I'm sure that vegetable garden will soon be planted even with annoying interruptions like a dead battery. I sometimes wonder what my car must think when I pile hundreds of pounds of soil and compost in the back:)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter–I completely missed that post. I hope she is not in as much pain now and that she can soon get around on crutches. She's lucky to have such a supportive husband and mother to help her. I wish her a speedy recovery.

  2. Liza
    Liza says:

    You have a great family, Noelle! It's so sweet of them to help in the garden. Glad you hear your daughter is doing well, again, falls are scary!

  3. Janet
    Janet says:

    My kids loved eating out of the garden…harvest one, eat two. Great times.
    Sorry to hear about the car not starting…hope the fix wasn't too $$$$.!!

  4. Christine B.
    Christine B. says:

    Ah, Murphy's Law. My parents had the same thing happen after they had loaded up a large moving van. They had to unload everything and reload into a different van. Yikes. Hope your experience didn't put you off of veggies in your yard….

    Christine in Alaska

  5. Ami
    Ami says:

    That sounds a good plan! Even with a little interruptions, I am sure it will turn out great with your men and kids' help! Looking forward to more pictures in the summer showing the delicious veggies in that bed…

  6. Martha Z
    Martha Z says:

    I hope that they continue with their enthusiasm. It can grow to be a wonderful life long passion. My 40 year old son like to call me and talk garden walking through his with cell phone in hand, telling me what he sees.

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    What a day. You need some spa time Noelle! (after the week or so you've been having.) In the end, the veggie garden is going to be great tho, especially with you as the head gardener.
    I'm glad your daughter is doing okay. I'm sure it's very challenging. Hopefully her bones will heal quickly with youth on her side.

  8. gippslandgardener
    gippslandgardener says:

    It is always so lovely to see your garden helpers with big smiles on their faces Noelle! I hope the progress of this new garden runs a little smoother from here on in. All the best to your daughter too, I hope she recovers quickly!

  9. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    The picture of your little boy and his Dad is so cute.You should have a great experience with your kids and the veggie garden.
    I think that I missed some things, when I was away. Your poor daughter…how will she get around? Can she put weight on either of these feet? I can't imagine what she is going through. Give her my best.

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