Backyard project

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! We enjoyed some sunshine and warm temps here on Friday and Saturday, and even though it was rainy on Sunday it was still a beautiful day. Ryan and I got a chance to head to Home Depot and start on our plans for our garden. Last time I wrote about the garden, we'd decided to grow vegetables and herbs in containers. As renters, we assumed that containers would be the only option, even with our large backyard space. But in speaking to our landlord, he gave us the option of doing some raised or bordered beds. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

Here's a look at our yard from our back porch:

The big white space is the roof of a garage, and is level with the ground. Near the bottom half of the picture, the ground slopes down a bit. But that little corner behind the garage? It gets great sun all day and is the perfect spot for some beds.

On Saturday we took the measuring tape for a spin and figured out that we can fit two beds, probably about 3x8 feet (it's a bigger space than it looks!). Our original idea was that the beds would be across from each other, one by the fence, and one by the garage. With a little walkway between, it would be the perfect place to spend an afternoon weeding.

However, it's important to pay attention to the sunlight your spot gets. Until about 4 pm the plot next to the fence would be in shade... not exactly what our tomatoes and peas are in the market for. So we rearranged our plan so that we will have two beds end-to-end next to the garage.

I'm so ready to get going and start digging! But first we need to get some supplies, like, oh I don't know, lumber, shovels, soil, fertilizer, hoes, trowels, seeds...

So after raiding our parents' tools sheds, looks like a shopping trip is in order! Since we're starting from scratch, and from the pricing we did at Home Depot, it's not going to be cheap... but that's what tax returns are for, right?

Anyone else starting from scratch on a garden this summer? Or seasoned veterans, do you have any tips for us newbie gardeners? Must-have tools or lifesavers?