After taking the pre-requisite for this course - pushing a 20inch mower uphill (both ways) - I advanced to "digging a garden". Many gardening adds show a sweet little old lady in pink gardening gloves kneeling lovingly over her perfect plants.
Understandably, they do not show me - wearing a tank top with built in shelf bra, glasses due to high probability of dirt in the contacts, unshowered and dripping sweat as I stomped on my shovel and heaved earth, well, out of the earth. I realized mid dig that my shoulders were turning an unsightly share of red, so I was forced to retrieve a tee-shirt. It was only about 85 degrees yesterday, a heat wave compared to today, so I drenched the shirt in water before heading back out.
Many bars advertise cute blondes with large breasts in tight, white, wet tees.
Still unshowered, still dripping, caked with dirt, and with oversized wet tee, I did not quite look like that.
But I was finally comfortable in the sunny spot chosen for what was looking like two long wheel streaks in the yard. Starting a garden from yard is hard work. First, I took a square shovel and removed the top few inches of sod, one shovel-ful at a time. I placed the sod into my cart, and when cart is full, I struggled to pull it up my hill to various areas of the yard needing some patching. The sod was heavy, the cart was hard to pull, and I make have mentioned before - it was HOT. This went a little faster when I ran out of patching places and was able to take it back to the park behind the house. It was downhill!
This step took about 3 hours of mostly pure exhaustion, but with a short break or two in the shady tree on the other side of the yard. When finished, I had a 5-foot by 12-foot section of what was actually looking like a garden! (Or a grave...) I had a nice beer sitting at my new patio set, which is situated under two shady trees near the house. I thought of having a second beer...but alas, there was more work to do.
The next step was to "till" the land using a pitchfork. I considered renting a tiller, but figured the Cavalier, though much roomier than it looks, would not be the ideal transportation for such a machine.
With some trepidation, I went to retrieve the 2.5 cubic yards of garden soil, purchased, but not carried, by me. I tried carrying it, since I knew Adam would be away visiting a friend when I had to use it, but there were many (at least two) men at Home Depot who couldn't stand to watch me struggle with the bag. Man #1 lifted into the cart, saying helpfully, "Good luck getting it out of there." Man #2 lifted it out of the cart and into the car - he was much stronger than Man #1, but neither of them lifted it easily. Again, it wasn't pretty, but I managed to slide / roll the bag - which really doesn't look all that heavy - into my garden cart.
I turned the ground over once with the pitch fork, pulling out rocks, and breaking up clumps as I went. This did not take too long, but I could feel my back muscles screaming, and the callouses on my hands were starting to blister. I then dumped the new soil, and dragged it on top of the garden (back began screaming louder). I then turned the ground a second time to mix the soil in. No planting yet. Garden experts recommend letting it sit for a few months, so I figure 12 hours oughta do it.
I will be planting tomatoes, tomatoes, more tomatoes, and a few peppers. My garden book says to plant two to six plants (six if I want a lot of work.) My dad gave me 15. What a surprise, this appears to be overdoing it.