This year I managed to have the time to start getting the garden ready for planting and then plant in March! I have aimed at that time for years and finally was able to do this. I started with getting rid of the dirt that I had purchased and put into the 5′ x 20′ garden box in 2017. Beware when ordering dirt that you know exactly and have proof of what you are ordering is the same as what you get.
Also, be careful not to accept a company based upon the name! I have seen these kinds of things over and over in business where people that are trying to sell their products by claiming they have a special trustworthiness like “Christian lawn services” or such like. Absolutely its nice to know if your business relation has a reputation for doing the right thing and not cheating you, but going by their name is not the way you know that. Like I said, I have seen this through business over the years in many facets of the business I am in. Was blind sided this time because not only were they calling the company “Integrity” but they were in my own neighborhood and stated on flyers they were military. Double whammy on the representations and of course I bought into it. Softy for military.
So, I had asked for the same kind of dirt I had in the box (there was 1/3 left in the box) and to be sure to purchase from a certain landscape company that has this organic mulched composted soil. It was literally 10 minutes from the house, but I do not have the where-with-all to get this type of job done and must hire someone.
Low and behold, I saw the trailer when it was sitting out front as I returned from work and saw a huge clod of clay on it. Looked at the dirt in the backyard in the box and could not really tell but seemed lighter to me. I had paid them. Need I say more.
So, not knowing for sure it was bad soil, I planted and watered. My garden barely did anything. It had a sandy appearance on top. It seemed as if it was clay and sand and perhaps some other darker soil, but it was not the composition I needed.
I had the same GOOD soil for 10 years and had worked and shaken the plants until the dirt was down about 8 inches. So, I needed more dirt or the thin layer left would start to turn into grass and weeds!
This year I had a new landscape company that made no representations at all, I just saw them working in the neighborhood and liked their work. After using them for about a year I could see how trustworthy they were. They actually told me to go out to the organic landscape site and pick out exactly what I wanted so there would be no doubt. I did that and went ahead and paid for it while I was there at contractor rates (which were great!). So, I paid a pretty penny for getting this done again, but it was right this time. Lesson learned!
Now, I have a beautiful box of organic soil with just the right mixture, light and full of compost and mulch, some sand, some lava sand, but not enough to weigh down the garden and make it hard to work. It was almost like potting soil. Back in business!
Then we had a very cold Spring! So I had planted with warmth in mind and a lot of my “warm” season plants turned white on the leaves. These were cucumbers.
I planted two types: pickling and smooth. Also, planted leeks, carrots, beets, radishes, salad greens and pepper plants. I learned that you need to start Bell Peppers inside before transplanting them in the box when weather is truly warm. Done. I also learned that its best for us hobby gardeners to plant onions inside until more mature and then transplant. I am using moss containers that will disappear when planted into the garden after this window seat period of seedlings.
Also, I was delighted to find some vines called “Morning Glory” that are very pretty and hearty to plant inside and in no time those came up and are now climbing up to the blinds! They are very cute! I will be transplanting them soon to take up some open spots along the fence and provide beauty and more privacy at the same time. It will also draw more butterflies and bees! The colors are violet, blue and pink mixed with some white.
End of summer of 2017 I planted 6 new bushes in the back. They started out just about a foot high. Now the roses are about 3 1/2′ high bordering the back of the house in 3 colors. So majestic looking! Also added 2 desert bushes called “Sage” that have the most eye popping horizon colored flowers late in the summer. Need almost no water. Last but not least, one more tree which will be a deep purple colored Crape Murtle. All but one of these were purchased at Walmart at end of season. Great value! (I know, that’s what they say on all their private label goods, but its TRUE).
Back to my current gardening. The last new plants I will attempt to grow are watermelon, cantelope and lemons!
All in all this has been an interesting and challenging new Spring season! Glad to get things back in order. I will report next time of the growth and production and show a few photos. Happy gardening folks! Its that time of year again!
Good luck with your landscape help!