We did it, we planted a full on veggie/herb garden this weekend. Plus the roses got planted. I’ll have pics tomorrow maybe (gotta charge my camera battery).
We planted the roses last weekend and so far they are doing ok. One rose is very puny, so I’m not sure it will survive (long story but basically I got 4 bare roots last spring and they all were sickly and this is the only that survived, never again Jackson Perkins, never again). I, perhaps meanly, have already decided what will replace it if it should bite the dust. I will say that from now on I’m only buying roses locally (my preferred place for roses is Barton Springs Nursery).
Last weekend we also bought feeder tanks for our veggie garden. We talked about getting galvanized steel troughs, but they are crazy expensive ($86 for 2x2x4 trough at Callahan’s). Then Matt found these plastic ones at Tractor Supply (thanks to a tip from my dad). They have coupons too so we basically got 2 of these 110 gallon tubs for less than we would have paid for 2 of the steel ones. These things are HUGE, it’s like the size of a bathtub, a really deep one. Anyway, since they were going in the backyard anyway I thought saving some $$ on the container would be a good thing and they don’t look awful and they are recycled plastic (they do smell funny though).
So we bought these at the Tractor Supply in Georgetown on our way back from seeing the Tut exhibit last weekend and this weekend our project was to get them ready for planting. So we went to the Great Outdoors (another favorite of mine) to see if they had any advice on filling these tubs up for a minimal amount of cash. One of the great folks there told us about Geo Growers where you can buy soil by the “yard” or half yard in our case. The catch is you have to have a pick up truck because they just dump it straight in there and then you haul it off and distribute it. They do sell bags of their stuff too (you bag it yourself), but for the amount we needed the half yard was the way to go. Luckily one of M’s friends has a small truck and let us borrow it for most of Sunday so we could get a 1/2 yard (plus some self bagged mulch). It was just the right amount, it didn’t totally fill the tubs, but got them 80% full which is plenty. We got the Thunder Garden, and the lady at the Great Outdoors told us to have them add manure or compost, but they told us there that they now add that to the Thunder Garden already. I am super excited about discovering this place, it’s so much cheaper than bagged stuff and for big projects it’s perfect. If the soil is great I could see driving there for the self bagged stuff too when I just need a little.
Anyway, we got the soil and unloaded it between the two tubs (we’d already bought 3 bags of rocks from Home Depot to put in the bottom of the tub and M drilled holes in the bottom too to help with drainage) and since I’d gone ahead and bought some plants at the Great Outdoors I planted and mulched everything. I’m so excited! The only flaw in the plan was we moved the tubs to make the soil unloading easier, I told M we’d never be able to move them back once full, but he didn’t believe me. I was right though the tubs are crazy heavy. They are fine where they are anyway, but just a warning if you are getting some ideas here.
So I planted 6 tomato plants (4 different varieties), 4 squash plants (2 varieties), 3 strawberry plants (never had luck with these but they looked really good at GO), 1 mint and 2 basil plants. I think I’ll add another basil and another mint and M wants to add a pepper plant or two. Hopefully as they all start growing it won’t be too crowded.
So veggies and roses ahoy. The front looks pretty good if overgrown still. I need to weed barrier the front beds and mulch and I think I’m going to try to plant some spreaders (watermelon, pumpkin and melons) in the front as an experiment. I’d still like to try to plant some easy care stuff on the side (bulbine and verbena maybe?). We’ll see, the weather is still good so I have time but we also have a lot of booked weekends in April/May.
The other big excitement was we bought a patio umbrella at Gardenridge, it’s pretty cool it’s big and it has a crank to raise/lower it. Out deck is awesome but it gets a LOT of sun which makes sitting out there not too comfortable even when it’s not super hot. Hopefully this will help and we’ll use it more. We also got 2 new chairs at World Market for the deck too. We are trying to replace the table and 2 chairs that we have now because they’ve become so weathered they are a splinter hazard. We couldn’t find a table, but the chairs were a good deal and pretty comfortable. I hope they hold up though, that’s my only worry since they are real wicker.