One of the (many) things I'm most excited about with my new house is that I can have a garden. The back yard is fenced, and THIS year, I am going to grow more than just tomato plant stumps. Ha HA! Take that, deer!
Two weekends ago, Emma and I weeded and turned over the soil in two of the four raised beds and planted onions, peas, pak choi, spinach, and two kinds of lettuce. Those are all coming up now. See the little green rows in the picture!
This past weekend, I cleaned out the third empty bed, and attacked the overgrown strawberry bed. I dug out an entire wheelbarrow-full of evil grass runners, and removed a five-gallon bucket full of extra strawberry runners. Those made some people on Freecycle very happy, and hopefully what's left in my garden will produce well.
Removing the grass runners was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was oddly satisfying to pull out those great long strings of grass buried in the beds. The effort was aided greatly by two tools, seen in this picture (which I now see is out of focus, sorry).
When I moved in, I had a shovel, a trowel, a garden rake, and a leaf rake. I bought the big spading fork because I thought it would be a lot easier for turning the compost pile than a shovel. Turns out it's also fabulous for fluffing up raised beds and exposing grass roots.
That gem in my hand, though? I bought that hand cultivator in a thrift store for a dollar, on a whim, because I've never had one and it was in good shape. If I hadn't had that, the strawberry bed would still be full of grass. It got all in around the plants without disturbing them (except for the ones that had to come out), and easily loosened up the grass runners so I could pull them out. I love it. I have named it Claw.
It feels really good to know that right now, at this exact moment in time, I'm ahead of the weeds. It won't last, but right now, I'm winning.