Backyard Gardening in San Diego
Hello there! Being that this is the first week of Spring, I wanted to share my gardening experience with you, and let you know how my first attempt at building gardening boxes went. To begin, I have to say that I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without my amazing mom. She helped me plan out this whole thing and then came down for 2 days to help me put all the plans into place. I will always and forever need my mom!
We decided to do 2 raised beds in 4ft x 6 ft. To do this, I went to Home Depot and bought only 2 pieces of lumber and had them make the cuts for me. The boards I bought were 2x12x20. They were GIANT! I mistakenly had 3 of my kids with me at the time and that was a nightmare. If you are planning to do this, I would say leave the kids at home and schedule AT LEAST an hour to get the boards and have them cut. The plus side of this is I paid less than $60 for the lumber. I won't go into the details of building the raised beds in this post, but here is a link to a good tutorial I found on the Joyfully Growing Blog.
Now for the dirt! If you live in San Diego I HIGHLY recommend Miramar Greenery. Sounds pretty fancy doesn't it. Well, turns out Miramar Greenery is really just the dump! It's located at the end of Convoy in Kearney Mesa. (Here's the website ) If you bring your own containers and load it yourself, this beautiful compost is yours for the taking. If you bring a truck and have them dump it in the bed for you, there's a small fee. (I sent my husband with a bunch of the Rubbermaid trash cans we use for our green waste and a shovel. F-R-E-E.) The compost is dark and rich and my mom was super jealous of my dirt! We mixed the compost with 4 bags of this soil and next it was on to the drip system.
For irrigation, we ran a hose from our only outdoor spicket aaaaaaalllll the way along the fence to the back of the yard where the garden beds are. I used this timer and this drip system kit, and just followed the directions on the packaging. You will need a utility knife for this part, to cut the tubing to fit. I think it took us a little over an hour to get the whole system up and running. Watching the water drip out onto the soil was so fulfilling! I was pretty proud of us for all that we were able to accomplish.
The next day we planted snap peas, green beans, spinach, and broccoli from seeds. (I chose veggies that are easy to grow and that I know my kids will eat.) We bought some romaine lettuce, cilantro, and chives and planted those too. I also got a lavender plant and some milkweed to encourage the bees and butterflies to come pollinate for me. And last but not least I dug up a 4x8 section of the yard and planted all different kinds of sunflowers, just for fun, and one package of poppies because they are one of my most favorite flowers. Nothing says California more than poppies!
If you're a novice gardener like I am, I hope this helped you. Gardening is a great way to get everyone in the family outside enjoying the fresh air, and it gives the kids responsibility too. I let them each help me plant some seeds, and they love to help me water the sunflowers and the lavender (which aren't irrigated by the drip system). It's fun to watch the seeds sprout and grow, and we are really looking forward to spending time this summer searching for peas to eat right off the vine and picking lettuce out of the garden for our hamburgers when we barbeque. Feel free to ask me any questions about the process below, just know that I am not an expert!
This garden would not exist if it weren't for my hard working and expert gardener mother. Love her so much! And yes, we used a spoon instead of a trowel. That's just how we roll, lol!
The mud was a huge hit!