Gardens are simple they said. Just a little work and some seeds, right? Well, not in my world. We started the farm garden with high hopes and dreams of abundance. We quickly realized that our fencing was in ill repair. You cannot have a successful garden without good fencing. PERIOD. Deer, rabbits, possum and hogs are just a few of the forest folk who will come to visit, if your fencing isn't on pointe. Before the plants could go in, we had to install a new fence.
I could go deep into the intricacies of fencing, but you'd be sleep because I was, as my husband turned fence nerd on me. What you need to know is that you need a type of fencing called field fencing. Field fencing keeps critters out for the most part. It should be at least five feet high because deer jump and so do horses. Trust me, horses jump! You'll need to dig down about a feet and place additional fencing on the ground to keep the burrowing friends away. Add a wire filled gate and you are done...almost!
During the cold, winter months of January, I had browsed the pages of the Baker Seed(insert hyperlink) Catalog. Along with a piping hot cup of tea, enjoyed carefully picking out which heirloom seeds would grace the rows of rich East Texas soil. I ended up with 75 packets of seeds plus 3 blackberries bushes that would ship sometime in May. The seeds had arrived and patiently waited for spring.
In the meantime between fencing and the heavy March/April rains, we prepped the soil. Happily, the cows had been depositing loads of fresh fertilizer in this soil for years. We pulled out the tiller and did a quick blending of the soil. It smelled so sweet. Yes, I smell dirt! In fact, the fresh, sweet smell comes from an organic chemical called "geosmin" Bacteria actually finds its way to through the geosmin. This bacterium is actually producing the chemical that smells good.
Fence. Check. Soil prep. Check. We were into late spring planting. Planting this time of year can make you feel rushed, but the rewards make it worth it. We used the direct seed method for most of the plants, but we did buy some heirloom plants to set out. The direct seed method is where you hand plant the seed in your prepared dirt and cover lightly with soil. It allows the germination process to begin.
Nothing left except to sit back and watch these babies grow. Pull a few hundred weeds out of the garden and wait. Waiting is proving to be the hardest thing of all.