January is a busy month for vegetable gardening in San Diego, and our garden has been no exception. I spent most of December grieving the loss of my mother, browsing seed catalogs and avoiding blogging. But now, Todd and I are in full gear getting a new garden going.
As I may have mentioned, I spend approximately all of my time trying to figure out how to keep rodents out of my vegetable patches. One brilliant moment of insight led me to create a new garden steps from the dog door. Rodents don’t seem to like to hang out where our two dogs go in and out all day and often at night. We still have our other garden (now called the flower garden). We’re turning that into a cut flower garden. So Luke’s bay window will now look out into beds of dahlias, sunflowers and zinnias.
Back to the winter garden. Everything was going beautifully until I fertilized the newly planted seedlings with fish fertilizer. Our dogs love smelly things–the stinkier the better–and fish fertilizer smells awful (but it’s organic and works quickly). The morning after fertilizing I went out to the garden to find big paw prints and evidence of trampled tender broccoli, cauliflower, kale and lettuce leaves. Our solution: a beautiful picket fence around the garden, so I can close it up and keep pups out when I fertilize. It’s also creating a sense of my own private little space, like the secret garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book of the same name.
Here are some photos of what we’ve been working on, which includes seedling transplants (seed starting is working)! You can’t see the picket fence yet in these photos but I’ll share updates when it’s done.
I’m already enjoying this little garden so much. As you can see from the photo above, I’ve taken to raking the pathways in a little zen meditation. I wish everyone could have a little space like this, to have their own garden.