My Backyard Salad Beds

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The weather is finally down into the double digits around here, so it’s time to come out of summer hibernation and stop neglecting the backyard. Back in June I gave you a (totally forgettable) tour of our backyard, and during the last four months we haven’t really touched it. If we had neighbors in the back they would think we are the laziest homeowners ever, fortunately we don’t and the cactus, cedar, and deer don’t judge us too to harshly.  So I decided to tackle the back beds…well, not so much tackle as create. Here is what it looked like last week…

Believe it or not that is actually a slight improvement from what it was when we bought it. We’ve brought in dirt and at least attempted beds. Also, the tree has grown…that’s always good. Let’s see if I can dig up an old photo. Ah, here we go…

So I did what any girl who has to move a ton of rocks and dirt would do…I called my mom.

We may never have gotten a pedicure together, but we have moved more rocks than I can count. Funny thing, when I was growing up I would have to move rocks as punishment and hated it. Now I  move rocks for fun. Who knew?

The process was simple, we just gathered large flat rocks from the piles around the yard (What piles? See them HERE and HERE) and stacked them to form a retaining wall. Next came the dirt.  Since this will be a garden and not just a flower bed I added some quality dirt to my normal topsoil. I used bagged compost and Miracle Gro garden soil…because compost is just a good idea, and Miracle Gro has built in plant food that will help me not to murder my veggies before their time. So we poured everything out, mixed it all up with a rake, and had…dirt. Yay dirt!

When I was buying the “Texas Friendly” topsoil I couldn’t help but wonder if other states have “Iowa Friendly” or “Arizona Friendly” topsoil. I know  Texas is weird because we put our state name in everything…in fact, it wasn’t until I was married and moved to New York that I learned that most states don’t say the state pledge in school after the US pledge. Texas might be the only one actually…anyone out there say a state pledge?

Anyway, here is what I planted, it’s mostly salad related stuff. I would love to be able to open my back door and pick fresh lettuce for that night. Lettuce in the store is expensive, especially organic stuff. Plus it goes bad fairly quickly and it seems that I’m always throwing slimy leaves out.

Here is what it looks like all planted. I know, this is the lamest after picture ever. It’s really just stacked rocks and dirt, but what’s a girl to do? I can’t make the plants grow faster, though we did add some basil for some instant gratification. That basil really makes the picture, I’d say :)

Did anyone notice the little silhouette in the door? He’s always watching me, like an adorable little creeper…

So hopefully in a month or two my backyard will look like one giant salad. We might even stop using plates and just bring our forks and dressing outside, lol.  Actually, I wonder if Elijah would be more likely to eat it if we did something fun like that….

If you want some more information on starting your own fall garden, (cause let’s face it, I’m no pro) visit the Gardenieres website and/or like the Miracle-Gro Facebook page. Both sites have a ton of helpful tips and videos, like this one about creating an herb garden garden…

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  1. I have never seen “Maine Friendly” topsoil!

  2. Way to go girl- it makes my day to see all your hard work! Looks great!

  3. It’s the basil. It really does make the picture.
    Janel@nelliebellie recently posted..Easy Halloween trays with ModPodgeMy Profile

  4. That’s looking great! The little silhouette in the doorway makes me laugh – that kid will know how to do everything around a home by the time he’s ready for kindergarten! It’s lovely to see him so involved, and that you don’t mind him getting dirty in the process. (Not that he’s dirty in this post – he’s even dressed, haha!) I think all kids should be allowed to get dirty :)

    I also liked that video. I would have stuck the plants in the holes and wondered why they all died. It’s always good to learn a new skill!

    Cheers, Jan
    Jan Elizabeth recently posted..Early Days – and How They Can Shape the FutureMy Profile

  5. There is nothing better than fresh tender leaf lettuce – YUM. If the little fella helps you, he should take interest in eating it. Good luck with the organic though. We harvested a few strawberries and the housebunnies got some of the leaves, but bugs ate the rest. Formulating a plan for next year. Really loved growing my own Parsley and Rosemary this summer, I had enough for the peoples, bunnies and neighbors…
    Donna Woods recently posted..Happy World Cardmaking DayMy Profile

    • I know, I’m hoping the bugs will share some lettuce with us. This summer giant worms devoured our tomato plants in a day! ACK! The cucumber plant right next to it didn’t get touched though and we have more cucumbers than we could ever eat. Well see how the lettuce fares!
      Ashley recently posted..My Backyard Salad BedsMy Profile

  6. OH! BTW, I did container gardening, and I used the Miracle Grow potting mix with the particles to help save moisture. LOVE it, it was def worth the extra cost.

  7. Looks great! We have a little garden and I love going outside and picking some lettuce. I’m from Maryland and I didn’t know there was a state pledge! Do you have deer? We had to build a fence around our garden that went underground in an L because we have deer, groundhogs, and squirrels. They love lettuce!

  8. Oh yes, we have deer. We have way more deer around here than people around here! This spring we put up a deer proof fence around our entire backyard, so we should be okay. Actually I wrote a post about the deer and the fence, here is the link if your interested…
    Ashley recently posted..My Backyard Salad BedsMy Profile

  9. Good luck with the garden!

  10. I am still laughting call Mom to move rocks, if you saw my place you would LOL too…now I have to ask…will the deer leave your garden alone…not in my neck of the woods…we had to put up a fence around anything we wanted to grow…and yeap Texas…PS out back yard. Rock all rock with grass on the side and front, for the grandkids…Love the efforts and hope you have a bumper crop

  11. jamie lynn says:

    we never said a state pledge… i don’t even know if we (Rhode Island) have one! now i’m on a mission to find out :) best of luck with your garden. it looks great! hopefully you’re better than me with plants!! :)

  12. You and your mom sound like me and mine! No pedicures, but we’ve pulled a ton of weeds together! ;)

  13. Haha I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a state pledge! Thanks for the chuckle! Good luck with the garden, I can’t wait to see the progress :)

  14. I need to try Miracle Grow. Our soil is terrible. Our property was a huge parking lot prior to this development being built, so the builders just used heavy clay soil and rocks, like broken concrete then clay. It’s terrible. I need to take it out and make it cool. I like what you’ve done to your yard! It look a 1000 times better than mine!
    Jennifer Sample recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – 10/10/2012My Profile

  15. Wow, growing a garden at this time of year would be great. Today it rained here with a snow mix (Alberta, Canada) :( I think all our birds flew out your way the other day! I’m just not ready for this…fall is my favorite season! You might want to try growing tomatoes in a wooden half barrel that way the worms in the ground can’t get to them. Have fun with the garden. Look forward to the pics!

  16. I’d say that is quite the improvement…I wish I had a green thumb for a garden…I’m with you on store lettuce…All veggies are expensive and I too get tired of throwing it away!! And, No state pledge here…LOL
    denyse@crazy beautiful life recently posted..Color ChoicesMy Profile

  17. When my older sister was young my dad had a huge vegetable garden, but to keep the dogs and critters out of the garden, he had it surrounded by a low hot wire fence. My sister figured it out pretty quick, and one day my parents walked out into the back yard to see my sister (three years old) bending at the waist with her hands behind her back, leaning over the hot wire and eating the tops of the brocolli right off the plant! They never had problems with her eating her veggies!

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