Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tracy the Gardener

Well, folks, this blog is about to take a sharp turn. While still technically about food, I’m switching the focus from decadent nights out at fabulous restaurants to me attempting my first garden. Wish me luck!

Fact: I know very little about gardening. My grandma always had a garden, and my mom did when I was little. So I know what a hoe is, but that’s really about it. I’m not exactly sure what sparked my interest in gardening this year, but I am lucky in that the City of Eden Prairie has community garden plots that you can rent for $54. They are nice sized plots – 20x30-feet – and I am giving it a whirl.

Tonight I went and hoed my garden. I guess I was expecting nicely tilled black soil just waiting for me to come by and drop seeds in Johnny Appleseed-style. Yeah. What I got is gray soil that looks like it has never been tilled in its life with a plethora of green things already growing in it. I don’t know much about plants, but I am pretty sure a good third of that garden is filled with carrots. At least, it WAS, up until the point I started hoeing it up. Till? Hand till? I’m not sure what the right word is. It’s basically a long stick with four long curved teeth on it that I used to till a/o hoe up the soil.

Hoeing took me about 40 minutes, which wasn’t bad. A perfect day for it – 75 degrees and gorgeous, with a breeze so you didn’t get hot. I am pretty sure I am going to be sorry tomorrow, as I can already feel it in my back. The soil in E.P. has a lot of clay to it, so it took some muscle to move it around. If I hoed every day, I would have fantastic arm muscles.

I am lucky I was able to hoe (till?) at all since I helped my friend Dee and her husband move last night, and most of my gardening stuff was accidentally unpacked at her new place. Going to have to make a trip over there this week.

I suspect one of the most difficult things about gardening will be carving out time for it. I am lucky that my plot is so close to home.

I did notice most of the other garden plots are fenced off, so I will have to look into that. Don’t want all my hard work going to rabbits and field mice.

The next thing I have to do is plant. I’m ready for it – I think!! What I don’t know is how much of the green stuff that’s currently in my garden needs to come out? I hoed/tilled it up, but some of it is still rooted in, I am sure, and otherwise it is just laying on top ready to take root again. So maybe I need to “weed” all that out before I plant? Probably. Advice, anyone?