Getting ready for the great gardening weekend

This is it, folks. The Victoria Day long weekend. The first long weekend of “summer.” The kick off to gardening season in Canada.

And I have ambitious plans.

First on the list is mowing our jungle grass. Every spring, we’re late getting our grass cut. The first year, we’d just moved to the farm and didn’t have a tractor. The second year, the tractor wouldn’t start, thanks to a broken fuel pump. Last year, it took us a couple of weeks to get the mower deck attached to the tractor (the level ground that is required to get all of the pins to line up perfectly does not exist at the farm).

Baxter's not impressed face at our long grass

This year we’re delayed because we need to sharpen the blades. I’ve done it before, but always with my Dad and always on much smaller mowers. For the first time taking the blades off our deck, we want some help, so we’re waiting until my Dad can come to supervise.

Next on the list is giving my forsythia haircut. (Dad, can you bring your hedge trimmer when you come over, please?)

After that, I need to weed two more flower gardens–the biggest ones, of course.

And then there’s the vegetable garden.

I know this was supposed to be my one and only outdoor project for this year. Obviously I’m multi-tasking with grass and forsythia and flower beds. Just trust that those things are necessary too, okay?

I’m anxious to get started on the vegetable garden, but I’m not going to be able to do as much as I had hoped over the next three days… and not just because of the other things on my list.

The biggest vegetable garden task this weekend is going to be the fence. We have a nice weathered wood fence. It looks great, but it’s not that helpful for protecting the garden from the local wildlife. I need to add some chainlink, and I need to build a gate. ‘Cause if I leave the door wide open, it doesn’t matter how much chainlink I have on the rest of the fence.

I had hoped that that I’d be able to break up the sod too this weekend, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

The tarps that have been spread over the garden for the past few weeks have not succeeded in killing the weeds. They’ve just turned them a bit pale.

Weeds after being covered with a tarp

Our farmer tilled our fields last weekend. I ran after the tractor one evening and asked him if it came in a smaller version–small enough to fit inside the ring. He shook his head and said, “I’d have to do that one by hand.”

As the tilling continued, I looked enviously at the tractor every time it drove past the ring.

Tilling the field

I had reserved a heavy-duty rototiller from a local equipment rental shop (because neither my Dad nor Matt’s want to sacrifice their rototillers to fulfill my garden ambitions–spoilsports), but it was surprisingly expensive to rent. Matt’s and my cheapskate sides came out, and I canceled the reservation.

I had heard a rumour that one of my cousins had a rototiller he wasn’t using. Turns out he doesn’t need it anymore, and we can have it… in a couple of weeks. So we’re waiting on our new-used (and better yet free) tiller before we tackle the sod.

Even without the rototiller, I think we have enough to keep us busy… for all three days of this weekend.

Wish us luck, would you? Hopefully I’ll survive the weekend and be back next week with an update for you.

In the meantime, let’s keep each other motivated. What’s on your weekend to-do list? Are you gardening? Or hoping to garden?

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9 thoughts on “Getting ready for the great gardening weekend

  1. Wow, you are right that is an ambitious list! But that way, you never have any time to think, what should I do next? Our gardening season starts a little earlier than yours. We have had our plants in the ground for about 2 weeks and we were late doing that because of rain. I am really late getting sugar snap peas planted but that is my goal this weekend. I work all day Saturday, so my weekend is pretty short!

    Good luck with your list, I am sure you can knock quite a bit of that out!

    • Your plants are already in and have been for two weeks!? Wow. We had frost the other morning, so we’re not planting anything for at least another week. That’s my biggest worry with the tiller situation… that our planting will be delayed.

      • Yep! Our radishes are already peeking up through the soil! We are supposed to have an unseasonably cool week this week but I don’t think I will have to worry about frost. Hopefully!

  2. If you can’t get a tiller maybe you could try a no till approach. Decide where you want your beds. Lay down cardboard and/or newspaper ( not the shiney stuff) where you want your bed. Add dirt and compost on top. Plant your seeds/plants. The paper smothers the weeds and then decomposes to become food for your garden.

  3. A rototiller that will be all yours – yay! That’s great. We’ve been surviving having two of my grown children move back in temporarily, then we had two more friends come for the past two nights as well – all this in our two-bedroom suite! I’d like to do some gardening, but so far today I’m sitting around in my robe catching up on stuff online. Rest is important too! 😀

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