Enter my dad and a load of manure, or what we like to refer to as the "shitment". He offered to bring a truckload of composted manure to add to our garden so once we nailed him down to a Sunday to deliver it, we got in gear and started getting ready. Well, Keith got in gear. I'm doing a lot of supervising.
At any rate, Keith attacked the pile of dirt left over from putting our patio in last summer and getting the sod out so that we don't have to deal with grass growing up in the garden all summer long.
Keith also emptied out our compost bin (a Christmas contraption built by Dad). Lots of good nutrients in our kitchen scraps.
In an apparent effort to get me prepared for having a little boy, he brought slimy things in the house to show me, although he did have the good sense to stand at the back door and not track dirt inside. The full report is that there are lots of salamanders and earthworms in our garden, which I'm taking to mean the soil is healthy.
Once the shitment was in place, he worked it in with a rototiller borrowed from our friend Jamie (who got about half the load of poop himself) and now we have a very full, and hopefully very fertile, garden.
Last year our garden was two separate 8' x 12' beds, plus some beans planted around poles, a berry patch and a small herb garden in an old bathtub. With all the dirt from the patio, we decided to enlarge a bit so that now we have one large 12' x 24' bed, along with the beans, berries, and herbs. The goal is to get a little bigger each year but considering the pending bambino arrival, we didn't want to take on too much this summer. Plus, we're still working our way through last year's veggies. Should be right on schedule to finish them up as fresh ones come on.
Here's a list of what we're planning on planting:
Plus some herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, and chives) and our blueberry bushes and strawberry plants are looking healthy so we're excited to see how they bear now that they have strong root systems.
This year's other garden goal is to keep a better record of when we plant things, how much we plant, and how much they yield. I wasn't very diligent about writing down what we did last year so the only information I can glean from those notes is not to plant so many radishes. Yeah, definitely less radishes.