Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Green Thumb!

Posted: May 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: Gardening, renting | 5 Comments »

Well, kind of.

Trying to be anyways.

Last year we moved over the weekend of May21st.  Upon moving in we discovered our yard was completely covered in mulch and weeds and we proceeded to tear all that up and try and grow some grass.  It was only kind of successful.  We’ve got a lot of tree cover and what it’s shaded by trees is shaded by our garage. I now realize why the yards were covered in mulch- it is extremely hard to get grass to grow.

The late start combined with less than steller growing conditions left us with a patchy lawn and an even patchier garden.

This year we had great plans for an early seeding and planting a straw bale garden.

In March we were hitting temps between the 70’s and 80’s and even a few days in the 90’s on a pretty regular basis.  We jumped on the grass seed, mulched our flowerbeds and bought our straw bales and started to prep them.

And then the temps promptly dropped into the 40’s and 50’s with nights in the 30’s.


As temperatures have stabilized, we had big plans to work in the yard this weekend.  Weed whacking, mowing, planting, removing the dandelions from the front and backyards, re-seeding our remaining bare spots, and just general outdoor upkeep.

And then this happened:

That is our neighbors tree.  On our garage (please ignore the hideous garage).

From another angle.

And another.

It’s funny- just that morning I had emailed our landlord (reason #245 I am happy to be a renter!) to let him know the tree was starting to shift.  Our clothesline runs from the garage to the fence and I noticed when I was making coffee that it was about 18 inches closer to the ground.  He scheduled an arborist to come out within the week.   The boys and I were out in the yard during the day.  We ate dinner on the patio.  I’m glad no one was out there when it fell, but it fell just right.  The garage is undamaged, no one lost power and no one was hurt.

Thankfully, for our weekend plans, I had already knocked down the grass around the edges with the weed whacker and removed the dandelions from this yard in prep for mowing; but mowing was kind of out at this point.

So on Saturday I moved to the front yard where I removed the dandelions and seeded the bare spots.

And then it started to rain, so I packed it in for the day.

Sunday I decided I needed to bite the bullet and get my seeds into the straw bales.

I have no idea if anything is going to grow, but I would love to have something come up!  Last year we had about a dozen zucchini and that was it.  We’re also planning on planting some tomatoes on the side of the house where we get really good reliable sun.  I’ve got sunflowers starting to come up in front of the boys window and we also put down wildflower seeds in a section of the yard we call “no-man’s land”.  It gets some sun for most of the day so we are hoping something will grow!

Other than what I did today we have some more mulching around our hostas in the back, and planting annuals in our pots to get some color.  I may or may not try a few more boxwoods this year.

I love them but they were a big fat fail:

Another fail?  My Lilac that  I proceeded to drown after keeping it alive in our kitchen all winter:

This was full of leaves and thriving!  Now, not so much.  I re-potted it in something with more drainage so we’ll see what happens…

I’m so far from a green thumb it’s not even funny but I am really trying and I love to learn.  I actually used to hate the idea of weeding a garden and I still kind of hate weeding which is evident by the fact that I only half-assed the flower beds and only removed the dandelions (I figure everything else is “ground cover” where my grass won’t grow!).  I need to invest in a nail brush and some Gardener’s Soap though- my hands are FILTHY!

So tell me- Do you garden?  Have you got your planting done for the year?



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5 Comments on “Green Thumb!”

  1. 1 Beki said at 9:01 pm on May 6th, 2012:

    Erin, I admire how hard you work in the yard/pots/garden to make it grow!!!
    Thankfully, Jason cares about the outdoor stuff so that I don't have to, because I really don't!!
    Good luck!!!!!
    My recent post Leftover Royal Icing as Buttercream

  2. 2 Marta28 said at 10:00 pm on May 6th, 2012:

    I'm definitely trying to. We fertilized our front yard today, but I'm not sure if its actually going to make a difference to the dandelion graveyard as my son put it. Do you think I should actually dig them all up? I feel like that would be most of my front yard. The back I've given up on with the two dogs and all the shade.

    Good luck with your green thumb!
    My recent post From the Beginning.

  3. 3 themamabeth said at 11:30 am on May 7th, 2012:

    Wow, that's awesome! I tried-started broccoli inside and got lots of sprouts, then it all died when I moved it outside. I planted lettuce and it did nothing. There's a couple of robust looking weeds growing in the garden now though…I planted bushes to hopefully shade the back wall from the afternoon sun, and Jake tells me the one that I suspected had died is coming back. So yay? The only thing I have any luck with is the rosebush that was here when we moved in, and that's only because I followed Lindsey's suggestions.

  4. 4 Salt in Suburbia said at 9:53 pm on May 8th, 2012:

    Let me just say you need to lose another tree to get enough sun in the backyard for a big garden (I’m dreaming big for you). That being said, I am way behind in the gardening dept. we are eating winter onions and radishes, and I have transplanted two short rows of strawberries, but the rest of my veggie garden is, sadly, a muddy, weedy mess at the moment :-). I wish you lots of produce out of the bales — looks great!
    Salt in Suburbia recently posted..April FoolsMy Profile

  5. 5 Royal Grass said at 6:51 am on September 27th, 2012:

    This photograph is the most popular in world.here are many people looking for this sites.
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