Building our Garden: Part I

Our little plot. This actually marks the mulch border, the fenced in area will be smaller by about 1.5 feet.

Renee and I decided we wanted to build a garden in our backyard. Although I do not like gardening, I do like building things and eating fresh fruits and veggies. Renee likes gardening and she also likes fresh fruits and veggies. We could totally make this happen.

The biggest obstacle for having a backyard garden where we live is the suburban deer population. These things are always hungry and we watch them eat everything from the presumably delectable tulips to the absolutely desperate tree leaves. We know that if we plant delicious produce in our backyard, the deer will eat it long before harvest time. Our solution? A fence.

Our plan is to build a six-foot high fence that will surround the garden to protect the yummy things that deer like to eat and use a mulched fence border to grow things that deer shouldn’t bother with like garlic and lavender.

Tilling up grass doesn’t work

Our first step after marking out the plot with some stakes was to get the grass up and till the soil. We tried at first to just till the grass in — obviously looking to get this done the easiest way possible — but that didn’t work. The thought of then shoveling out all of grass by hand with a sod shovel seemed like a nightmare, so we rented this 300-pound monster of a sod cutter:

George manning the beast

In 45 minutes, George and I were able to cut, roll, and move the sod off of the 16′ x 24′ foot plot. Using that sod cutter made you feel like Tim Allen on Home Improvement.

Having the rolls of sod was nice because we were able to use them to fill in some low and bare spots around the house. Now we just need to waste a lot of water the next few weeks by watering the sod until the grass roots reestablish themselves.

After all of the grass was up, we tilled the dirt and clay and then added a few layers of Sweet Peet mulch/soil and tilled some more.

From nutrient deficient dirt and clay to fertile rich soil all in an afternoon

And that’s basically where we stand today. Renee applied for a fence permit with city hall a few days back, so now we are stuck waiting until that gets approved. Once that’s done, it’ll be time to put up the actual fence and then plant everything delicious inside its borders.