Getting my garden started

Sweaty Shop  > Gardening, I Am NOT A Gardener! >  Getting my garden started

The tools I used
Weapons of Mass Gardening

The first thing I did when I got my community garden plot, was to buy some of the things I needed. As it turns out the only things I didn’t need to buy was the hammer and bottled water.

The hammer, in case you wondered, is for driving the wooden garden stakes into a vampire the ground to help mark off the digging area of my plot.


My first gardening plot decision


My community garden plot
22’x25′ give or take

The second thing I did once I had the garden plot, besides wonder if I was out of my mind, was to mark off a rough outline of the plot. Now the plot I committed to was 20 feet by 20 feet, but it looked like the plot itself was bigger than that, or perhaps the previous tenants made it bigger than they were supposed to. I’m really not sure. I took my time with it, probably longer than I should have, but as much time as I needed. I experimented with some measurements. I placed, measured, removed, re-measured garden stakes as needed until I was (relatively) happy.

I finally ended up going with a 20’x20′ outline as that was the only thing I knew for certain. I tried to keep the spacing between my plot and the other plots around the same width that I saw with other plots.

Here’s some pictures of the work I did in my garden:


A corner of the prior plot
A pre-existing corner… more or less.


Measuring from stake to stake
Mainly I measured so I didn’t do extra work 😉


The final outline with stakes
My finished outline. Not pictured: string


I forgot to get string. It would have helped immensely I think. Especially when it came to this next part:

 My stupid shovel decision


A sample of the outline I dug
It’s hard to see the line I dug, but it’s there.

The shovel I had was a cheap “real tool for kids” as I spent most of my free money on getting the plot and the other supplies, except string. Still regretting the string. It was cheap and I needed a shovel so I set about digging an outline around my community garden plot.

This proved more difficult than you would think. Because of my back problems, I could only do so much before the pain drove me to quit. I jammed the shovel in and brought it straight up as the purpose was to outline, not dig, around the perimeter of the plot. By the time I was done, the shovel and my back were done. The shovel was a bit worse for the wear however:

The bent shovel
It was the wrong right tool for the job.


Yes, the shovel really is at almost a 45 degree angle. I forget how long exactly it took me to do so, quite a while actually. Granted most of my time was spent with the whole “figuring out my perimeter” thing, but it was necessary, for me anyway.

Here’s what the plot looked like after I outlined it:

The garden plot outlined
I did slightly better than drawing with an Etch-a-sketch


My back was hurting and I had had enough. It was time to be done, and for the end of this post, proof that I did some actual work:

mud covered workboots