Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Starting a Garden

I’m going to be a gardener. Yup, just decided. Well, re-decided, I guess, since we already have a garden. It’s a strip of dirt on the side of our house and we’ve been trying to grow vegetables the past couple years. But it has some problems. It’s way out of the way, so it’s a pain to check on it (since I’m lazy). The ground just underneath the topsoil is hard clay. It’s shaded most of the day either by our house, or by the beautiful forest surrounding our house. And I haven’t figured out a way to keep the deer from eating the few vegetables that we are able to grow in there. And even despite all those problems we’ve been able to grow some zucchini, okra, tomatoes and basil, which has been super exciting, and makes us want more! Here’s a photo of the harvest that greeted us when we returned from a week-long trip to visit my parents in Dallas this summer:

But, in general, things end up getting eaten by the deer or overrun by weeds, so we’re trying a new approach now, based on the book, Square Foot Gardening. Kavi and Anika helped me build this raised bed, which is itself a huge accomplishment given how not-handy I am.

This was my first time using a drill since shop class in high school! We’re going to try using a fishing line fence to keep the deer away. I’m not very optimistic about that, but fingers-crossed! We can also see the garden from our living room, so maybe I can just shoo them away any time they saunter by. The garden is looking quite pathetic because we bought some seedlings from the Carrboro Farmer’s Market but then all our garden plans got sidetracked by Hurricane Florence (which fortunately treated us very kindly, all things considered). So, the seedlings wilted away in our screen porch before we finally got a chance to plant them this week. We’re hoping there’s still some life left in them. Anyway, our expectations are low, especially given how late in the summer we’re starting, but it would be nice to get one head of lettuce or something to grow. I’ll be sure to let you know!

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