Garden Dueling DIY Week 1

Fire in the field

In this Dueling DIY garden challenge, I am on fire. Literally.

These were my jeans at the end of Saturday.

Burned cuffs on my jeans

And this was the back of my neck at the end of the weekend. Ow-ee.

Sunburned neck

If you’re new to this Dueling DIY series, Sarah in Illinois and I are undertaking some friendly competition to help us get our gardens in shape this spring. You can check out all of the previous posts here.

Now, if you look again at that top picture and squint through the smoke, you might notice that the fire is some ways away from the garden itself–that big round thing with the fence around it.

Fire in the field

Blame it on my pyromaniac tendencies. Blame it on the other outdoor task on my 2016 Home Goals list–general property cleanup. Blame it on the first nice weather of the year. I got a little bit distracted over the weekend.

I cleared a stack of about a dozen incredibly heavy metal siding panels that had been hiding in the weeds on the south side of the garden.

Sheets of metal siding

Wiley and me moving the siding

Then I cleared the weeds themselves–using my preferred method of fire.

Burning weeds in the south field

Burning weeds in the south field

I cleared a very large pile of lumber at the edge of our centre field–and lit some of the really punky stuff on fire. (I might have a problem).

Lumber pile at the edge of the field

Field after clearing the lumber pile

I cleared a stack of old fence posts beside the driveshed.

Pile of old wood fenceposts

I’ve moved these fence posts once before, picking them up from where they were scattered around the property and tucking them behind the driveshed. I had to remind myself a couple of times that I had moved them before, and I could move them again.

Moving the fenceposts

These things were heavy. The very last one was the girth and almost the length of a telephone pole–not even close to a fence post. Example 8,694 of why I don’t need a gym membership.

Moving the fenceposts

But I digress. All of these clearing tasks do actually have something to do with the vegetable garden.

The fence posts are going to become the “curbs” around the outside of the garden and the raised beds.

Some of the lumber from the field is going to be trellises for the tomatoes and stakes to hold the curbs in place.

The metal T-posts that were mixed in with the lumber pile are going to be the trellises for the raspberries.

So my big accomplishment in this Dueling DIY is that I have amassed all of my materials. A whole lot of materials.

Materials for the garden update

My other accomplishments are on the non-heavy lifting side: I ordered seed potatoes and grape vines, and we’ve started some watermelon, tomato and pepper seeds inside.

Here’s my original to-do list that I shared last week. I can cross just one thing off.

  • Hang the gate
  • Edge the garden
  • Build raised beds around the perimeter
  • Build trellises for the raspberries, tomatoes and squashes
  • Start a few seeds indoors
  • Till in the ash, straw and manure currently spread over the garden

But here’s how I’d calculate my scorecard so far:

  • I cleared the weeds from a space roughly equal to the size of the garden. Maybe this means fewer weeds to go to seed and infiltrate the garden itself.
  • I am prepped–and stocked–in the garden materials department.
  • I moved a telephone pole all by myself–in fact the equivalent of several telephone poles if you put all of those fence posts together.
  • And I lit myself on fire.

Beat that Sarah.

Thanks to everyone who shared their garden/spring to-do lists last week. Please share your progress. How is your spring project coming? Are there any pyromaniacs out there? Who else gets distracted from the primary project? What are you working on in your garden?

9 thoughts on “Garden Dueling DIY Week 1

  1. Julia, you did an amazing job! Besides seeing the burn, I can imagine the aching hands & muscles! This is my to-do list from last weekend-I planned way too many things because this is Wednesday and I am only half finished! But I have purchased (for the second time) the potatoes and strawberries. And the mulch. As you might be able to tell, half the seeds are planted.You girls are inspiring!

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  2. You didn’t tell me that causing myself bodily harm was a part of this challenge.

    You did some massive work, Julia. Nice job! I thought the same thing about my challenge, part of the beginning process will just be getting the materials to do the work.

    But I am not scared. **rubbing hands together and laughing menacingly** Just wait until you see what I get done…mua ha ha ha!

  3. Holy Toledo! What an enormous amount of work. That’s brilliant to use the posts and lumber and t-bars for the garden. Two jobs for the price of one!
    I’m amazed by how much of our to-do list got done last week. (Not by me!) Sharon finished school and went nuts in the garden. She weeded a ton, dug out a new loop of garden (I spray painted where I wanted it to go, so I did contribute, haha) and planted most of the new plants. She also mowed the lawn. Everything looks so much better already! I have many more plans for her, muah!

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