My First Vegetable Garden: Start to Finish

Last year I wanted to grow vegetables and wanted to make a garden as we didn’t have one. My concern was that I would dig up the back yard,  plant something,  then lose interest. I lose interest very fast it seems.

Instead of digging up the lawn,  I planted some herbs and some tomato plants in containers just to see if it was something that would keep my interest. It was. I enjoyed the maintenance of pruning the plants,  watering every day,  etc.,  and the whole family enjoyed the tomatoes.

This year I decided to move forward with a larger,  more permanent garden in the back yard. This is about the construction of my first garden from start to finish.

I started by determining where to have the garden. With a can of marking paint in hand (the wife picked pink,  of course),  I marked the spot.

Using marking paint to mark the sod to be removed

Next,  I sprayed the area with RoundUp. I’ve dug up my share of live sod and it’s about as much fun as a poopie flavored lollie pop. Thus,  kill it first – it’s easier to remove. I had reservations about using this chemical,  After RoundUp did its jobbut it actually did more than kill the sod – it gave me a clear indication of what I was dealing with,  which enabled me to determine if I wanted to increase the size of the garden before the digging started. The RoundUp took about a week (give or take a couple of days due to all the rain during May in Utah) to do the job.


Now the digging started. With shovel in my glove protected hands,  I started digging. Again the rain hindered my progress. I used a rounded spade and basically dug trenches going from left to right and  about 10″ wide per row. When complete, I turned around and did the other side the same way, thus making a sort of trench where I removed the sod. Because of the rain, the sod was heavy and muddy. I needed as much dirt as possible, so I flipped the sod pieces over to dry out the mud. After flipping the sod to dryI used a three-prong hand rake to hack away the excess mud/dirt from the sod. This process took a couple of weeks due to,  you guessed it,  the rain. Eventually I hacked as much of the dirt/mud from the sod as I wanted and loaded the wheelbarrow (several times) and hauled the sod away. It was now looking a bit better.



I used a rake to level out the spot and remove the larger chucks of clay and rocks before seeing how the wood planter boxes looked. Removed the sod




My wife and kids gave me the planter boxes for Christmas, Placing the planter boxes so imagine the fun opening a present six months late! Woot! They fit where I planned.



Unfortunately,  I don’t own a truck. I have friends that do,  and have always offered,  but I didn’t think I needed a truckload of dirt. So, my wife and I drove to Lowe’s and purchased several bags of top soil and several bags of steer manure (yummy!) Actually,  the top soil smelled worse than the manure. But I digress… I unloaded the bagsBoxes filled with dirt into the planter boxes and my wife started “decorating” the area with some other flowers,  planters,  and stuff.




Finally,  I went to the nursery and bought tomato plants and a variety of peppers. We love tomatoes,  so those were a must to have,  but the peppers were my idea – 1. because that’s all the nursery had and 2. because peppers are something I can see grow and thus pick. I’m sure we’ll try them in some dish 🙂

Here’s the final result.





Here’s another picture from a different angle:

Another shot of the completed garden






Finally, I got one of my minions (you might know them as children) to water for me 🙂


Author: John B

I'm alive.

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