When it comes to moving any dream into reality, the biggest question may well be “Where do I start?”
The first step to any garden project – no matter what you are growing – is getting a feel for your land. How much sunlight does it get throughout the day? Is it early sun (east facing), shaded, full sun? Does water drain quickly after run or is the land a bit boggy? Does snow melt quickly or linger? Can you view the garden from inside your home?
To say my property was overgrown when I purchased it would be a massive understatement. The back third was completely overgrown with vines and starter trees (you know, those start-ups from spring seeds that no one bothered to remove). Poison ivy was so thick it looked like branches. Fence collapsed under brush and access to the small shed was difficult.
As I cleared brush, removed weeds, and leveled soil I got to see what plants were already in place. I found a huge mass of day lilies and a small patch of peonies – both of which are easy to transplant. What a great money saver! Watching them bloom each year gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction.
Clearing the land can be backbreaking work, but the satisfaction of a job well-done and the sound sleep that comes with it make it well worth your time. Watching your land before investing in plants and landscaping will save money and heartache if you choose incorrectly. Observing is the must-have tool in the urban farmer arsenal.