Him: Shirt, Pants, Sandals
Home projects are such a cool way for the two of us to connect. We always crank the music and usually get some sun while we are at it. Maryal is so dialed in around the house, but let’s be real here, gardening isn’t for everyone. She doesn’t feel that she has the gift. She needed someone to teach her the basics. The plants need the right kind of soil, just the right sun exposure, and most of all – they need love. So many of us would love to have a garden. One that is planted with healthy, green, shiny veggies and mouth-watering herbs. What we come to realize is that unlike many items that are out there for her, we can’t just buy her a garden. They require lots of love, attention, and quite a bit of your creativity. If the plants die, you’re a jerk, so don’t skimp on any of the above. If the plants grow and actually produce something she can use, she’ll reward you every time she goes out to pick the strawberries. So here’s how you nail the handiwork and spread your seeds… without the diapers.
1. Feel out the yard and pick a spot to plant. You want to pick a spot where she currently likes to spend time. Something sunny, preferably bordered by brick, cement, or pavers.
2. Grab a shovel and dig through the top layer of the yard. Keep the edges straight and clean. Your girl will want it to look clean and symmetrical.
3. Dig the hole 8” down and remove all the rocks, roots and stones. You want to leave some loose dirt, free of large clumps for the next step.
4. Find a local nursery, not a big box store. The plants will be prettier, healthier and most importantly, they wont die in 2 weeks. Right now, I like to plant strawberries, red chard, kale, spring mix packs, peppers, and tomatoes. Herbs like mint, opal basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, and chive are essential for her kitchen, so pick some of those out. Also, pick up 3 large bags of organic composting soil. It is rich black in color, smells like it sounds, and most importantly, will make your crops happy.
5. Fill the hole with the organic compost and mix it together with the loose native soil.
6. Lay the plants sideways and squeeze the plastic pots until the plants are set free. Then break up the root ball with your fingers. Be careful to separate the roots with out tearing them.
7. Create holes in the center of the garden bed for the large plants. Make the hole a little bigger than the root ball and set the pant in. Make sure the top of the root ball is flush with the ground. Spread your fingers and stuff the soil in around the roots, pressing down firmly to fill the gaps and expel the air. Leave the plant tightly packed and standing straight up.
8. Set it enough plants to where the garden looks dense and impressive (that is the point!) Soak the entire bed thoroughly immediately after planting. You will want to soak every few days. Do not water her new garden until the top layer of soil has fully dried out. You want to continually let the plants struggle then refresh them with a lot of water. It will keep them growing strong and producing lots of everything she wants.
Now you’ve given her something that she could never order online and also something that no one has probably ever given her before. It takes a thoughtful man to give her gifts just because. This one will really make you feel right at home together and keep reminding you that it takes love to for something beautiful to grow.
jamie rice says
Awesome bro, you guys make a great couple and i love that you are doing this blog together! Sarah and I have been cultivating our garden for 5 years now, and we still learn something new every season. It is a lot of work, and definitely won’t sustain us should the zombie apocalypse ever happen but it is something fun that we can do together on our lazy days around the house. We planted potatoes for the first time this year and they are going crazy, really excited to harvest those. Anyway, all the best to you two and hit us up next time you make it down to Tucson.
Maryal and Chris says
Hi, Jamie! Oh my gosh can we trade tips?! Arizona definitely requires a "learn as you go" philosophy from season to season if you want to have and keep a garden, and we’ve been experimenting with sun/shade placement, water and plant species almost every month. Keep us updated about what you’re planting and how it’s going and any tips/tricks you find along the way! – Maryal