V is for Victory!!!

Victory_Garden_PosterSo this is my first attempt ever at a real garden. A Victory garden if you will. Victory Gardens got their start during World War I and later II. It was a way for people to help in the war effort. By growing their own food other food sources could go to the troops.

Perfect! Lets plant a Victory garden!!! (Who says we need a war???)

I spent most of my childhood and early adult life in apartments. Then I spent about 10 years in a condo. Which is really just a glorified apartment. (Translation, no yard, no real green space!) So it’s not that I haven’t wanted to garden. I just haven’t had a chance until now.

Along with my passion for my pretty pink house is also a deep seeded passion to get fit and healthy. I am VERY into local food, knowing where my food comes from and working towards making a smaller carbon footprint in this world. Food and me are BFF’s.

So when we moved in here two years ago I knew eventually we would have a garden. Because we finally had a yard to do so. But I also know gardens are hard work. So the first year it just didn’t happen. It apparently didn’t happen the second year either. We talked about it. But never really acted on it. But as we head into our third summer this year I wanted to make sure it happened.

And it has!!!!

We met with some like minded friends and kind of decided to do a joint garden between us. They would help with the planting, the dirt, they would buy some veggies and we would buy some, etc…Starting up a garden can be a pricey adventure if you aren’t careful. And we would split the goods at harvest time. This is a win win for all.

So then came the decision as to WHERE it would go. We have a detached two car garage at the back of our property. On one side it gets full sun for most of the day, and then in the evenings the shade comes by. This was the perfect place to put our garden.

Interesting side note, this garage was actually built before my house! Circa 1957. It is where the builder stored all his equipment while laying in the neighborhood.

Interesting side note, this garage was actually built before my house! Circa 1957. It is where the builder stored all his equipment while laying in the neighborhood.

We wrestled for some time with how to do it. Should we dig down? Should we build up? Should we use brick? Boards? Blocks? We ran through all the options and we ended up with using concrete block. For several reasons:

  1. It goes with the garage
  2. It’s a very cheap option
  3. It’s very forgiving of a less than perfect yard
  4. The holes leave room to plant marigolds to ward off pests or to plant herbs

So concrete block it was!

My nieces lovely art work adorns the wall!

My nieces lovely art work adorns the wall!

So first up we had to take care of the grass and weeds. Then we loaded in the block.Then it was time for dirt.The dirt was a process. This was a three weekend process by the way. We framed it one weekend and the following weekend did the dirt. And the final weekend we planted.

My Bode dog inspects the block. We made him Project Manager!

My Bode dog inspects the block. We made him Project Manager!

Bode the PM riding in the Depot truck!

Bode the PM riding in the Depot truck!

So now we had it framed. It made a REALLY large planting area. And using the concrete block allows us to put some fencing up later to ward off critters. We fully expect some rabbits and deer to come along soon to munch on our buffet.

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The following weekend we had the dirt delivered.

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We couldn’t bring the dump truck back because the ground was too soft so we had to lug it in wheel barrels and with our mower. UGH. (And by we, I mean, the boys, I supervised!) We could NOT have done it without the help of our friends! This is what Spring in Ohio does. Rain. Rain. Rain.

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My giant Pile O Dirt!

IMG_6095We had to remove some block to get the dirt in since we had no dump truck now.

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This took many many many trips.

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Our friends finishing up.

So then the following weekend, mid May, when we were ASSURED by the weather men it was safe to plant, we planted.

AND….

We got a late frost. So we lost our first round of tomato plants. So those got replaced. We have planted onions, corn, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, peppers, cabbage and eggplant for this first round. We are about six weeks in and everything is going well.

Except my corn. My corn is leaning. Apparently towards the sun. Something I didn’t think of when I decided to use the back wall of the garage as a wall. It does not allow for 360 degree sun. Lesson learned!

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I am very excited. I was going to wait until the end of Summer to show off the before, during and afters, but then I decided WHY WAIT? I can do a follow up post later.

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So this is our little Victory garden. So far, I love it, and it’s been pretty low maintenance. Mother nature has done most of the work. I have watered it a few times and will need to do something to keep the bugs off my cabbage. The cabbage is the only thing showing signs of attack so far.

We laid some mulch down last weekend as well to help with weed control. The tomatoes are already flowering and will need staked soon. And I need to help my corn stand tall. But otherwise, I am quite pleased with my first attempt at gardening!

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About drbininger

Early 40- something gal (VERY EARLY!!), living in Ohio, exploring the world of Craft Beer, Delicious Food, Travels, Animals and fighting the Weight Loss battle of her life...And now...Renovating a 1959 Atomic Pink Stucco Ranch....
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