Getting Our Hands Dirty

By Leah
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March has arrived and came in like a lamb! Last weekend we began to prepare the garden beds for planting.

In the past, we have always bought bags upon bags of dirt for the beds and containers, but this spring Greg decided he wanted to dig from my father’s old garden plot. It has lain fallow for almost 20 years, so we took the trailer up to check out the soil.

The grandkids came out to assist, and Josiah grabbed a pick and told Greg he would dig to loosen up the soil, and Greg could shovel it in. The dirt turned out to be very rich and full of worms, so we worked all morning to fill up the trailer.

After a short break, we transported the soil down to the garden and began to work on the beds I intend to use first. I had my chart laid out so I would know where everything was to go. I also had the mix I wanted for the soil written down by each diagram, so once Greg filled the beds, I began adding lime, bone meal, etc. where needed.

Then Greg and Joe made a trip to the barn for a load of seasoned manure from the stalls while Kaydence and I cleaned out the greenhouse. Our greenhouse is homemade from an old aluminum frame with plastic panels and a screen door. I keep tools in there, as well as gardening supplies. In the fall, when we put the garden to bed, I tend to just shove everything inside for the winter, so come spring it is a major undertaking to make it usable again. Kaydence and I took everything except the work table out and neatly replaced what was needed and threw away the rest. Now I can use the table to re-pot seedlings into larger peat pots and eventually use it to set the plants out to harden before planting.

By the middle of the month, I hope to have my onions planted as well as cabbages, peas, turnips, and carrots. Then it will be time to start working on the next set of beds to get the soil just right for planting. Getting the beds ready is a lot of hard work, but I love it. Especially when Greg and the grandkids are helping. That is gardening as it was meant to be. A real family affair.