Tag-team planting

After tilling the ground the first night, we dumped a mix of topsoil and peat on top of the yard dirt and raked it to a smooth, gently-sloped pile. I had wandered downstairs to our basement and located a rake and an old hoe, and brought those up to use as we mixed the new and old dirt together to create our empty bed. By the time that was done, we were completely out of light, so we left it for the next evening.

“I’ll come home from work as quickly as I can,” I said. “Then we can eat dinner and we should still have a couple of hours of light left for planting.”

Steve digs, leeks hang out in foregroundBut when I pulled up to the front of the house that Monday night, I caught a glimpse of Steve out there working. It even looked like there were some plants already in place. I rushed inside, through the apartment, and out the back door.

“I just need to change, and then I can help,” I said. “I’ll be right there.”

Steve waved from the garden, then went back to planting.

I forgot completely about dinner in my rush to get back outside, and I grabbed a pair of gloves on the way down the back stairs. “What can I do? What can I do?” This was a joint endeavor, and I wanted to be part of it.

“Well, we’re going to have to dig more bed,” Steve said.

This was not in my plan for the evening. “What do you mean, more bed?” The space we had tilled already looked awfully big to me, and I feared our landlord’s reaction the next time he stopped by.

“It’s not big enough. We still have the eggplant and the cucumber and the zucchini to put in.”

Composting the eggplantsAnd so, much like the previous night, we began again. Steve dug, I separated grass from dirt and bagged up the waste material. We hauled bags of topsoil and peat. We raked and hoed and mixed, and shortly, we had an extension of the original bed.

“I want to plant something,” I said. “It’s my turn to plant.”

Steve chuckled. “Now you’re all interested in putting something in the ground, are you?”

“I’m just saying,” I said. “I should get a turn with the planting.”

So Steve stepped back while I put in the rest of the plants. Yes, that’s right. I actually put things in the ground. I know plenty of people who wouldn’t believe it if there wasn’t photographic evidence. I emailed the photo below to my parents, and my father said, “I love the blue gloves and the manic intensity on the face.” Yes, manic intensity. That’s pretty much how it is.

Genie puts in an eggplant

Photo credit (for the ones of me with manic intensity): Steve McNutt


9 Responses to “Tag-team planting”

  1. 1 steven May 22, 2006 at 8:09 am

    Manic itensity, ha ha! The garden will take over your lawn, just like mine is doing. My theory is that plants are our alien overlords and they ply us with veggies and flowers to create suitable habitats for them.

  2. 2 Sabine May 22, 2006 at 11:32 am

    I love reading about your gardening adventures. I found your site through Garden Voices.

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener May 22, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    Steven, your theory cracks me up. Unfortunately, since I don’t actually own my lawn (I’m just a renter), I have to keep the garden in check, but I’m already thinking of ways to expand it next year…this is a sickness!

    Sabine, I’m so glad you found me! Garden Voices is such a great launching pad for interesting garden writing — I’ve found so many great sites through that round-up, myself.

    Thanks for visiting!


  4. 4 Amy May 24, 2006 at 9:26 am

    Hello! Congrats on your “rented” garden! When I rented my first question to landlord’s was “How do you feel about me digging up the lawn??” You might want to try the lasagna method-I hand dug (double dug!!) my first gardens but once I read about lasagna gardens, I never looked back. I’ve planted veggies and perennials mere moments after finishing the lasagna layer–aside from some extra staking of tomatoes, they all flourished and were none the wiser to my no dig method. Give it a try!

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener May 25, 2006 at 9:14 am


    Thanks for the feedback! I did a little investigating on the lasagna method yesterday after reading your comment — it’s quite fascinating! I’m definitely going to look further into that for future years.

    Hope to see you here again soon — thanks for stopping by!

    :-) Genie

  6. 6 Garden Man April 26, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I also like your posts, just found the site a couple days ago. Love gardening!!

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener April 26, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Garden Man, I’m so glad you found me — thanks for stopping by!

  1. 1 The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on May 24, 2006 at 6:54 am
  2. 2 Take a ride on a magic carpet of seeds « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on March 2, 2007 at 10:36 am

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