Last year Hubster made me an above-ground garden.
It's all the rage now, and really quite simple. You get some boards, screw them together in a rectangle shape, set it in the yard, and fill it with extremely expensive droppings from golden cows, rotted detritus from plants that is also extremely expensive, and vermiculite, an expensive form of packing peanuts only ground up into bits.
Oh, and newspaper. You have to have that on the bottom so that the weeds won't grow through. But what they don't tell you is they do anyway, so you've wasted the Sunday Star on nothing but providing more mulch for the Very Expensive Garden you've just created.
And then you buy the plants and plant them, and wait for that gosh-awful smell from the manure part of the garden (which is a full one-third of the whole) to go away. But it NEVER DOES. And it "freshens up" every time you water or it rains. And that's when you fear your neighbors will never speak to you again, even if you do offer them fresh tomatoes from your cow poop-laden pasturette.
Last year I grew tomatoes and peppers in the Very Expensive Garden, hereafter referred to as the VEG. A fairly apropos acronym, eh? All told, I figure we spent approximately $23/tomato.
Not bad for a first crop.
This year it was much easier, being as I am a seasoned farmer and all. I simply bought four bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil and added it to the mix. It was best for all concerned, believe me. Even at that, the smell from last year still lingers. It's amazing.
I set out four tomato plants, three pepper plants and one cucumber plant. Then I got ambitious and planted onion sets, lettuce seed and radishes. Bear in mind all of this was accomplished in one day.
I didn't plant by the sign of the moon as I'd planned to do, so Mom would not be pleased with me. It rained so much previously that I was lucky to plant at all, so I took advantage of the time I had. Fortunately, the plants seem to be thriving. I have blooms on the tomato plants already.
Unfortunately, the seeds have not done so well. Not a sprout in sight.
I've decided to give them another week or so, then I'm digging up the lettuce and radish area and planting bush beans. I don't have enough space or time to waste in plants that won't thrive.
I know. With my brown thumb there's no assurance ANYTHING else will come up in the VEG, but it's a good hobby to have, especially in the Spring of the year. Come Summer it may be a different story.