Monday, July 16, 2012

My Garden Sucks

I haven't even planted my garden this year.  Normally, I wait until Mother's Day weekend, as that's a good date for the average last day of frost around here.  Living at altitude (6200ish ft) in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains generally means spring comes slowly here.  Not so much this year.  We had 80deg F weeks in March, everything bloomed early, and we never really got our spring rains.  Instead of taking advantage of this warm spell, I decided not to trust it and wait until May.  In May DH and I both came down with the crud and were laid low for several weeks, so my garden planting was pushed back further.  Then we were out of town, then we got tornados and hail.  (I tell myself the hail would have just destroyed any seedlings I'd planted.  This does make me feel slightly better.) 

I do have my rhubarb, mint, and some strawberries.  I've already picked the rhubarb 3 times, and it needs it again.  I've been pulling up mint runners for a few months also.

Since it's already mid-July, I'm debating just doing some fall crops like lettuce.  I hate to leave my garden fallow this year, but looking at total days to harvest for the veggies I want doesn't leave enough time, especially if weather doesn't cooperate and we have an early frost.  I think fondly of my corn crop from 2 years ago, and how I want to try pickling my cucumbers someday.
my little corn field in 2010
It looks like we'll be busy with traveling this summer also, so I'm making an executive decision to get the rest of the yard in shape again first.  A sprinkler zone broke so last year we never turned on our sprinklers and the grass pretty much died.  I don't have a problem with dead grass in front, as I'm planning on turning that into a little meadow anyway, but the back yard is a tough loss.  Mostly because with the grass dead, the weeds have taken over.  In a BIG way.  I hate to use chemicals, but I think we're at the herbicide stage before we can replant. 
my previous garden
So the list of Things To Do grows a little larger. 
     - Get sprinklers fixed (done!)
     - Kill weeds, prep for replanting
     - Order water-wise native grass from High Country Gardens
     - Finish garden design for front and have order ready for fall shipping/planting
Backyard in 2012, YIKES!
As you can see, there's a lot of work to do.  I am embarrassed to share these photos, but I think it's important to see how much hard work goes into keeping a pretty yard.  This is what happens when you do NOTHING.  Plus, being in a drought hasn't helped.  The back yard will get the lawn replanted with water-wise grass plugs more suited to our area than Kentucky bluegrass, and the rest of the weeds pulled.  Right now I have to switch into blinder mode every time I sit on the patio with a beer, and I haven't been able to enjoy it as much as in years past. 

Dead lawn in the front yard.

The front yard will get the weeds pulled, the tree trimmed/limbed up, some shrubs moved, and everything ready for planting this fall.  We don't need the lawn in the front, it used more water than flowers will, and even though the soil is horrible (sandy with maybe an inch of topsoil), the area is irrigated so I thought I'd design a nice little flower garden where I can put the plants that require more water.  I have an idea of the plants I'd like already, I just need to organize them into the space according to mature size and height, bloom time and color. 

So tell me, are you a lazy yard keeper, or the neighborhood lawn police?  Do you prefer native plantings, or is water no factor?  Are there things about your yard that embarrass you?

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