Thursday, February 5, 2015

In the Garden, Part 2: Small Changes, Big Difference!

Welcome to the second installment. I took the liberty of fast-forwarding through a bunch of boring, dreary stuff (namely, the months of March and April), to show you the first steps that we (and Mother Nature) took to improve our lot. (Yes, the pun was intended!)

In the beginning of May, we began to make the first changes:

Note the absence of some of the piles, and the addition of some green. This is how spring is around here- you go from mud to green pretty fast!

First, there was the leaning laundry line to contend with.
We remedied the situation with a Tractor Shop item.

It was easy, and surprisingly effective! I loosened the soil, dug down about a foot, and "planted" the post through the sprocket. Between the depth of the post, and the weight of the sprocket, it's done a great job of holding the line, even with large loads & wind! 

Bonuses: we can move the line whenever we want to, AND, it was free. Free is good.

Next, we took on the trash-can area by the patio gate. Every winter, it's been a thorn in our side. A few years before, I had tried using some discarded brick to remedy the muddy mess that it became every winter.

It was not terribly effective. In fact, once they sunk in, about 2 months after I placed 'em? 
When the mud went back to being faux-concrete, they became the Ankle-Breaker Path.
As in, "Oh goody. It's trash day. Time to hike the Ankle-Breaker!"

The Big Guy came up with an elegantly simple solution:

He dug out all of the brick, and laid in a large, treated pallet. You can't use the treated ones for play structures or furniture, but for this application, it's aces. It's strong, and a LOT easier to haul trash trolleys over! (It was also free. We love free, at our place!)

Of course, we had to find a place for the "soil" (I use the term loosely) that was removed to accomplish this. It went here.

And here, where the pile of crappy wood and junk used to live.

Don't remember that spot? It was THIS one...

See why you didn't remember?

To create this little garden spot, I removed the old crap, and brought in better crap.

The tractor seat & small pallet were free- brought 'em from work. The mailbox was our old one, so...also free.

The metal pots? Those are tractor hubs. Truck hubs work for this, too!

Free. All of it. Even the wood edging on the new bed.

Tractor Wheel Hubs

Also note that the raspberries came back- greenery helps!
As did the baby herbs: 

I liked those so much, I had to do these, too- peppers, basil, and tomatoes! I can't claim to the yarrow, though- it was a volunteer. Love those! I have a thing about not removing interesting "weeds". Our yard occasionally gifts us with lovely surprises, as a result.

(See the solar jars back there on the right? You can find out how to make them here.)

And then I started hardening my home-started babies off for their grand outdoor adventure.

A good start, yeah? Where there's green, there's hope.


Next installment coming soon, along with tips on where to locate free stuff to gussy up your garden.
Stay tuned!


  1. It's starting to look amazing :) You guys are doing a great job keep up the good but hard work !

    1. Thanks, Shannon! This year, we're hopin' for even more, but last year got us a good start. Wait'll you see the crazy tomatoes, further down the line. :) Miss you, hon! Happy V day!


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