Please Excuse the Weeds

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Our sprouting plants! Click on the image to enlarge.

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Taken with my iPhone. Last year’s bounty. We had lots of beets, kale, carrots, and tomatoes.

I woke up this morning and after a few days of just rain, the sun was finally out, which meant that the money I paid to have our lawn mowed was just a complete waste. Our lawn went from groomed to jungle in a matter of days. I’ve noticed after years of dealing with our yard, our grass is the most temperamental that I have ever seen! It’s a mixture of weeds and bare patches and are not thick enough to even have a decent picnic with a blanket on. When I lived in California, the dirt was black and soft. My plants flourished wonderfully and I loved gardening on it. It’s probably because the soil in NC is really red clay that I have a hate-hate relationship with it here. Red clay, though full of minerals doesn’t like me back either. I hate it when it rains here because when you track in the mud and get even a patch of it on your clothes, you can say goodbye forever to your favorite pants or throw them in your scrap cloths for housecleaning. My daughter once wore her new pair of jeans out in the snow and slid on her knees as she was running to catch some snowflakes. My husband saw my expression, as if in slow motion, my eyes widened and I belted out a slow, “Noooooooooo!” Those jeans, those cute jeans, were history. Hence, I really detest the soil here. Yes, lots of trees and plants grow here in NC, but if not treated properly, your yard will look like a red mound of an anthill.

With such a huge backyard, we would need to till the whole land, put lime on it, then replant the right kind of grass. We’ve attempted to hire lawn care companies and they would seed the ground, but that’s all. No. Our yard is a far cry from that. It needs to be torn up and the soil needs to be tilled into submission. It discouraged me from doing any further work on it because it was always a waste of money. Then, I had a lightbulb moment. I delegated hubby to build raised beds in the backyard, so I can have good soil and compost for planting. Ding ding! I can ignore the weeds and focus on the plants inside the beds instead. I really have a keeper because he went straight to the hardware store for some lumber and built me three raised beds. I can tell he was really sick of looking at the bare backyard too, otherwise he would have taken his sweet time doing a project like this.

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One of my criteria of a man that I can spend the rest of my life with– that he build me a garden.

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Baby carrots! So cute!

I don’t have the best green thumb and I know that I have sooooo much to learn about plants, but my daughter is at an age that I feel it is important for her to be in touch where good, nutritious food comes from. We have since had success with herbs and tomatoes. This year, we planted some Napa cabbage, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, and tomatoes. Apparently, lettuce is a self seeding plant because it just grew in rows by itself and we have a bunch of it growing without any of my help. We rebuilt our string bean teepee to give it one more chance. Last year, the vines started growing and then they stopped, but they are supposed to be runner beans, which left my teepee very bare and exposed. Our blueberries are back and this time, I will net that baby until they get ripe enough for picking instead of leaving them for the birds to feast on. They’ve had organic blueberries year after year and wipe out my bush each time. We also have the cutest baby apples growing. I don’t know why my trees do not grow taller or even wider. I have dug holes three times as large for them and they still remain the same size I purchased them four years ago. I throw my hands up gardening here.

Anyway, I’ll update as soon as things really start blooming. Most likely in July or August, our flowers will be in full bloom and they can distract you from staring at our weedy lawn.

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The flowering herbs Saffy picked for me while I was trimming the plants. Such a cute and unexpected bouquet from weeds!

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