Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
I am thrilled to announce that a few weeks back, some of our team members joined with others at our publishing house to start a garden on the front lawn of our building. The idea had been floating around the office for some time, and we finally put the wheels in motion. This has been such an exciting adventure so far — plus, it just feels right that MOTHER would have a garden on the lawn.
We planned to have two large garden beds, one on each side of our company sign. Each bed was slated to be 27 feet by 25 feet. During a couple planning meetings, we decided to make the gardens “edible landscaping,” complete with lots of flowers, plenty of veggies, designed paths and even benches. We’re using planks and old tree stumps to make the benches.
We broke ground with shovels, and after an hour of intensely attempting sod removal, we hadn’t gotten very far. The next couple days, we decided to rent a sod cutter (we joked that sticking with shovels, and only working over our lunch breaks, would have put planting at about 2013).
The sod cutter sped up the process greatly, and it turns out that one of our coworkers needed sod for his lawn at home — so we rolled it all up and put it in the bed of his truck. No waste! (I have to admit the rolls looked a lot more uniform on the second day, after we’d had some practice.)
Next came tilling, raking, measuring and staking out the paths, adding compost to the bed areas (we ordered a truck-full from a local garden center), and then tilling again. The ground is now lookin’ good — and seed worthy.
This week is finally planting week. One of our Garden Club members used the new Garden Planning software we’re launching soon to map out the paths and planting design (what a neat tool!). We’re going to plant tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, sweet corn, popcorn, cosmos, cleome, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, zinnias, pole beans, bush beans and more.
The best part of this whole experience so far has been working as a team and getting to know more people around the building. With a little initiative, some sweat on the ol’ brow and a bucket of tools, it’s amazing the kinds of things a group of people can accomplish when they work together.
I can’t wait to report on the things we learn as we continue to toil in the garden soil. Most people that jumped at the chance to join this project did so with the hope of gaining a valuable learning experience (myself included). Hopefully, I’ll have many interesting stories and tips to share with you as this gardening adventure unfolds.
Special thanks go out to the following companies that have generously donated seeds and other supplies to our garden project: Rogue Hoe Distributor, DeWitt Landscaping, Bradfield Organics and Droll Yankees.