A Brand New Gardener

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

So as I said in my earlier post today, this year I am a brand new gardener!  Most of my friends have gardened way before the age I am now, but I never had anyone teach me when I was growing up.  My mom gardened a little but just as her answer to her teaching me how to can, she’d say, “I don’t have the patience to teach you.”  That was that.

However, with all the rising prices and all the discussions of the pesticides being sprayed on our produce and things being added to our food, (in addition to trying to avoid as many processed foods as I can). Check out how they are adding a coating called Apeel to a lot of the produce to make it look better. There are a lot of foods in the US that are banned from other countries!

I decided to try to grow as many of our own vegetables and fruit as I could.  I kept it small this year as I’m still learning.  I want to try a few different things next year and increase the size of the garden.

I started out by setting up some racks and grow lights in my dining room (that will change to probably the basement next year for sure…what a mess!), some plant heat mats for some of the and started seeds.  I watered and babied and hardened off those things for two and a half months till the last frost date arrived and they were ready to go outside. They were my little green babies 🙂

I didn’t think I would be able to garden the normal way with my bad knees and bad back.  However, after thinking a lot about it and putting my thinking cap on, I came up with an idea that I thought just might work.

I went to Menards and bought about 24 concrete blocks and took them home (in my mini van…yeah, that was interesting 🙂 )  Then I went back out and found some skids behind a garden center they were getting rid of and brought those home (again…an interesting activity, but hey, they were free).  I fit five of them in my van and took them home.  Then I went out and got five more on my way to pick up my son at school.

So after setting the skids up on the cement blocks (see picture below) I had a “platform” for containers to garden on.  This is the result to date:

elevated container garden

It works great because the skids have the open places between the slats and it lets water drain well after watering. (The right side has a cement block that’s cockeyed, but nothing is wrong with it.  I just bumped it with the lawn mower the other day 🙂 )

I also went to TSC and bought four 8-foot cattle panels and…yep, you guessed it -brought them home in my van  (again…that was fun but I did it) and some t-posts.  I turned those into two arch trellises (with the instructions from a YouTube video and another here) by myself (something really difficult to do by yourself, but I’m thankful for these videos. I’ll have to bend occasionally for these tomato plants, but as they grow up the trellis I won’t have to.

I have my indeterminate tomatoes, some cucumbers, and a few other things growing next to it and they are just starting to climb the trellis:

Cattle Panel Arch Trellises

I’m on a new weight loss journey, so all that work led to all that sweat which led to a lot of burned calories 🙂

I’ll hopefully get a few more bags of soil mix to top off some of the tomato plan pots, and there are a few that need transplanted to bigger pots so they have more room to grow.

I’ve spent HOURS and HOURS on YouTube learning how to garden. I have a LOT of gardening playlists categorized to find the videos easily.  YouTube is the widow’s friend 🙂