Let’s Grow A New Backyard Part 2!

Last weekend we finally took care of our backyard. From my previous blog post (https://greenthumbilina.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/lets-grow-a-new-backyard/#) I talked about how to grow a new backyard. Well, it was finally time to attempt to grow a new yard! The weather has been perfect and we shouldn’t get a hard freeze until next winter (fingers crossed please!). While it is highly recommended to plant in the Fall, you can plant in the Spring as long as it’s early enough and the weather doesn’t get too hot too early (again, fingers crossed). We can’t predict weather, no matter how much I’d love to.

Nate ended up raking all of the extra leaves and pine needles that had fallen since the previous week (I spent several hours the previous week raking the whole back yard) to make tilling that much easier. He also started moving the gravel pathway into the greenhouse. If you remember, the greenhouse floor is all gravel. Since it has been so incredibly rainy we realized quickly that there isn’t enough gravel on the floor to help with the excess water. The entryway became really muddy early on during the winter. Nate started moving gravel from the pathway into the greenhouse so that we will no longer have a pathway, but a bigger backyard. Since we rarely used the pathway anyway it made sense to do this. Because he raked the excess leaves and needles the tiller was able to move more smoothly through the ground.

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I did all of the tilling. Buying the electric tiller was definitely a good investment since we have used it for the the front yard as well as the backyard now. The blades aren’t that wide so you end up doing a lot of columns within the backyard, but it works really well. Having the cord could be a pain at times because you have to be extremely careful to not get the cord in the way. I ended up having the cord thrown over my shoulder to keep it out of the way. And once I got going, I realized short lengths over a certain distance worked much better than trying to do the entire length of the yard.

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Even with Nate raking the extra pine needles the blades got a bit tangled. I also had to be really careful with the amount of roots that the tiller dug up. The photographs below show me cleaning out the blades. Luckily, this didn’t happen too often as I tried to be careful when roots became exposed.

IMG_0150IMG_0138After tilling the yard, it was time to plant! First, we fertilized with Scott’s fertilizer that was recommended for new yards. We also overseeded with tall Fescue. Deacon likes to be where the action is!

IMG_0151Here is what the backyard looks like after all of that hard work! Now, we just have to hope for good weather and that the birds won’t eat the seed.

IMG_0165Since this day was such a nice day I also decided to plant our AeroGarden seedlings into the raised garden beds that were prepared about a month ago (https://greenthumbilina.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/a-springtime-garden/). The seedlings have had over a month to grow and look fantastic. During the last week before planting, I went through what is called the hardening process. I placed the entire seedling container outdoors in indirect light for a couple of hours the first day. I gradually increased this until the seedlings were outdoors for the entire day length. This took about a week to do. I then planted all of the seedlings into the raised gardens in the greenhouse. I placed trellises for the pea plants since they have been growing like crazy!

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I also had to reroute the drip hoses for the gardens to cover all of them. Unfortunately, we don’t really have enough length of drip hose to cover the gardens fully but I made do with what we have. We just need to buy extra hoses to connect to the ends to extend the hosing. I plan to do this as soon as possible.

IMG_0168And lastly, I had planted additional pea plants a couple of weeks prior that just started sprouting! Now we should have peas staggering production.

IMG_0167That’s my backyard and spring garden update!

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