by Stephanie Stewart



Why I Garden

I grew up gardening with my grandmother every summer. She always had a gigantic garden which she tended to mostly alone well up into her 80’s. I won’t pretend I retained a lot of knowledge, but I did like walking behind her tiller, and getting to pick the assorted vegetables we would get to eat later for lunch. 

Now in the present day, I have decided to make this year my first year planting my own garden. What can be better than relaxing in your garden after a long day and tending your plants, only to get to enjoy the fruits of your labor through the summer, share with friends, and even put some away for colder months. After living in this house for nearly three years and every year debating whether or not to jump in, the current situation of no socialization seemed like the perfect time to begin a new hobby! So, join me on my journey into becoming my own Martha Stewart.



Prep Work

Step one was picking the perfect garden spot. A lot of discussion went into this between my boyfriend and I, and it also proved to be a point of contention in previous years that led us to putting the goal on the back burner. Finally, we agreed that a small little plot of about twelve feet by twelve feet, that has plenty of full sunshine, very flat, and in view of my kitchen window would be our best option. Following this came tilling. Since we don’t own a tiller, we were fortunate to have friends who live nearby who let us borrow theirs. So, on Saturday, March 28, we broke ground. After my boyfriend, Adam, tilled the dirt several times, we decided to take a rest for the evening. The next day, he went over the dirt twice more.

I spent the next week in search of some chicken litter. After some inquiry’s a good friend of mine was able to provide me a few buckets for the purpose of fertilization.

For anyone not familiar with chicken manure, it has an extremely high nitrogen content due to the ammonia it holds. This makes it extremely beneficial for plants that produce food. I also added a small amount of lime due to the high clay concentrated soil here in Kentucky. The following day, the plot was tilled twice more and was ready for planting!

What I’m Planting Moment

This began with some tray plants I had purchased, including, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños and broccoli. I also began a small seed nursery where I can raise some of my own plants in small peat pods, in hopes I can transplant them later. My selections for this process incorporate yellow squash, zucchini, okra, brussels sprouts and a form of hybrid cucumber. Today, I am at a stopping point, where I added a few more tomatoes, and a cabbage plant, purchased on a whim.

Seizing the Opportunity to Learn

I am very hopeful that this endeavor will end in my favor. I am apprehensive about my skills. But it’s fun to learn! I hope anyone reading will take this as a bit of inspiration to dip their toe into some sort of gardening. I also hope that you’ll follow me along on my journey!




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