Gardening from nothing

Our house sits on top of a LARGE parcel of land. About nine thousand square meters, in the middle of the city, literally 10 minutes walking distance from what’s going to be the largest mall in Dipolog City (my hometown). And it’s depressing to see it overrun with weeds, grass, and critters I can’t identify.

For as long as I can remember, I pictured turning this property into something beautiful. It just had so much potential. The ground was fertile and it even included a pond at the back, yet we made no effort to improve it. At first, I thought about landscaping the entire area, but the cost would be dizzying! Also, the ongoing expense of paying people to maintain a nine thousand sq. m. garden would kill me.

back lot

This is what the property looks like at the back. It’s unkempt and is home to different types of weeds and grass.

So I asked myself, what about a vegetable garden?

I Google-image-searched for large vegetable gardens here in the Philippines and I was BLOWN AWAY. I had found my solution to this big, fat, weed-infested problem.

I wasted no time to start my veggie farm. Within the next 48 hours, I had bought 12 packs of seeds, a pickaxe (we call them “piko” here), and a pack of plastic bag pots. We already have a shovel so I didn’t need to buy that. Basically, I bought what I thought I needed at the moment.

garden plot

This is where I’d like to start making my raised vegetable gardens.

I’d like to be candid and say that I have never owned a garden before. In fact, I’ve never grown anything in my life, except when I was in Grade 3 when we were required to plant something in a tiny garden at the back of my school.

I have close to zero experience planting. I know almost nothing about it, except that you’re supposed to water the plants every day or they’ll die. Yes, I’m a pitiful human being, I know.

Moving forward with the story, I also dropped by the hardware yard that was literally 30 seconds away from our house. I ordered 150 pieces of concrete blocks (which will be delivered tomorrow morning) to build the raised beds I had in mind for the garden. I’m drawing inspiration from the dozens of photos I saw of raised bed gardens, which I think are more practical to do considering how our land is almost always flooded during the rainy season.

Farming 1

Ate Tata and Kristine (my two nannies) were eager to help out with the soil digging and planting, so we managed to do this pretty quickly.

This is our progress so far. We have some hot peppers, bitter gourds, water spinaches, and some Chinese white cabbages (pechay).

As you can see from the image, I used old trays we had lying around and placed holes at the bottom so the water would drain properly. And when I couldn’t find any more unused trays, I started using the bags. We’ll probably move this to somewhere where it can get more sunlight.

So, the plan is we continue planting the leftover seeds in the pots during the next few days. I think by the time my raised beds are done, we’ll see a lot of the seeds already sprouting. Then, we’ll transfer them to the raised beds where I’m sure they’ll be big enough to survive the series of heavy rain that’s expected to come around December.

Wish me luck!



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