Backyard Renovations: Part 2
If you missed my latest backyard post, this is what Felix and I were starting with when we bought our house.
Can you see me back there on the right?? heh
Last week I caught you up to 2015:
But now it’s time to wrap up with what we’ve done so far this year in 2016.
Last year I missed out on vegetable planting for the season. After apartment-living in the city, I’ve longed for my own vegetable garden! This year I wanted to hit the ground running and make it happen! What can be better than wandering in your own back yard to pick vegetables for dinner or feed some hungry bunnies?!
Early in the spring (but not early enough), I planted seeds to start plants in my basement under grow lights.
All of my vegetable & herb seedlings are non-gmo, heirloom seeds from Baker Creek.
I have spaghetti squash, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, bell pepper, yellow beans, green beans, cilantro, basil, parsley, and numerous types of lettuces. (Shout-out to Michelle who told me about this company. Thanks lady!)
After much research – since that’s what I do before starting any new endeavor – I decided that we should build sub-irrigated, raised planter beds.
There’s basically a reservoir of water at the bottom of the bed that always holds water. That way the roots go down for the water which results in a nice root system; it’s supposed to reduce weeds, rot, and other issues that may happen with watering at the top.
Felix and I started planning and then building two raised planter beds, what feels like months ago. But we finally finished them.
The reservoir does need to be filled about once a week, but I can go several days (like on vacation) without worrying if all my plants are going to die on me. There’s also drain holes on the side, at the bottom, to prevent any flooding from rains.
I have a tendency to ‘go big or go home’ with projects, so I do hope this works out for me this year.
As an FYI, Felix posted each and every time we worked on our garden boxes. You can find many more in-depth construction blog posts here.
I intended to get these boxes finished like 2 months ago, so I missed out on some springtime peas. But I’ll survive. heh I have read that I can actually do peas again in the fall when the weather gets chilly.
The other large project that we worked on was a new fence!
The old fence was all warped and very unattractive. I felt like I couldn’t really start to plan out my garden until a new fence was put in, since I didn’t want to plant & then remove it all for the fence install. That and …… I was having some major territorial issues with the dog that lives next door. It was getting to the point that I couldn’t be outside without my adrenaline rushing & having heart palpitations due to the dog. (Happening again right just now thinking about it…) So Felix and I decided that it would be in everyone’s best interests (mainly mine) to make the fence a priority this year.
Of course, we like to save money when we can, so we did all of the leveling/grading of that fence area on our own which took us several days to do.
Just a few bricks we found in the yard – even after things were cleared and leveled last year.
We ran into some issues during the grading with an old tree stump that we already had ground down. Turns out it needed much more stump grinding, so we had to call out our tree guys to get rid of it once and for all.
After the grading was done, we were able to just kick back and watch our fence be built by professionals.
I now have a brand new fence and a vegetable garden in progress, in what once was basically wilderness!
It feels like a fresh, blank slate that I can finally start building out/planting in.
I have all sorts of schemes saved in my pinterest page, but I need to sit down with my mom again so we can plan on how to make it even more lovely.
Some of the top things on my list that I’d like in the backyard are:
- Espalier Tree/s
- Lilac Shrub
- Fire Pit area
Even though I may only be able to do one of the four this year, it already feels like I can breathe again in my backyard with some privacy; I can enjoy being outside once again. It feels so good.