Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Weekend garden warriors

Posted by: Nicole Hvidsten under Vegetables, Weekend chores Updated: June 7, 2013 - 8:01 AM

They say it takes a village to raise a family; it also takes a village to start a garden.

It turns out that what looks like a relatively easy and painless task -- putting in a cou

The finished product.

The finished product.

ple of raised beds for a vegetable garden -- is anything but. However, after two solid days of work, several trips to garden centers/hardware stores, help from one set of parents, an aunt, two kids and the dog, I finally have the beginnings of a real garden. And I couldn't be happier.

As a rookie landscaper/gardener, I took the easy way out and bought raised bed kits at a home-improvement store. I figured this was a huge leap for me, and if I were to have to build the beds too, it would never get done. I wanted to see the fruits of my labor sooner rather than later.

Assembling the beds was a breeze; deciding where to put the assembled beds was not. After locking in the location and marking the territory -- with spray paint! -- we began the unpleasant process of digging up the grass, which was by far the worst part.  And then we filled with dirt, dirt and more dirt. Finally, after working the soil, we were ready to plant. In go the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, sunflowers and strawberries. Even my 16-year-old said, "Wow. This is exciting!" And she meant it.

Now we're eagerly waiting for plants to grow and the seeds to sprout up. In the meantime, I'm reflecting on a few of the lessons I've learned:

1. Manual sod cutters are a joke, and the heavy-duty sod cutters are not for the weak or faint of heart.

2. Just when you think you have enough dirt, you need about 20 more cubic feet.

3. Math is important in everday life, and gardening is no exception.

4. Much like cabinet space in the kitchen, there never seems to be enough room in the garden.

5. Rabbits are evil.

6. A good wheelbarrow is a must. (A good wheelbarrow is now on my Christmas list.)

7. Gardening is infectious. Before the last of the plants were in we were already talking about expanding next year's vegetable garden and putting in more perennial beds.

8. No matter how old you are, you can always benefit from the wisdom of your parents. (Thanks Mom and Pa!)

9. Rabbits are still evil.

What are some lessons you've learned as you've grown with your garden? Help me avoid some rookie mistakes.

 

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