Now that we've decided to do a bit around here, I find myself wanting to do everything all at once. That isn't possible, of course, so I try to slow down and think things out logically. Some tasks can be done whenever or concurrently with other tasks, but other projects must be done in a particular order.
Before we can put up rain gutters, for instance, we have to get up on the extension ladder and clean the roofing tar off the fascia still up there from when we ripped the porch out. Then the fascia needs to be painted to match the current house color. We're considering getting seamless gutters put in and having a water harvesting tank installed at the same time. Before we can call for estimates, however, we've got to research tank sizes and find a place to put one that won't get the county's panties in a twist.
With our planned garden strip in the yard, it's the same thing. While it's exciting to think about what to plant, first we've got to clear the miscellaneous items stored in that space, such as the extension ladder that is needed to reach the roof fascia. We'll have to stretch some chicken wire to keep the dogs out, put shade cloth up on the fence to keep the sun and wind from destroying the new garden, and, oh yeah, we'd better put down a solid layer of hardware cloth to try to keep the pocket gophers and ground squirrels from eating every damn thing we plant. And I need to fit a trip in to the local sandwich shop's corporate office to load up on 5-gallon buckets for planting. (They cost only $1 each, which is far cheaper than pots, and the white color is cooler in the summer heat.)
As I look at all the projects we want to do and look at the calendar to see how much time we have before the real heat hits, I get overwhelmed. I have to remember to slow down and just tackle one thing at a time. And try not to get ahead of myself.
Yesterday, I got out the shovel and the drop bar to start digging the hole for the fig tree. I fetched my sweetie an hour or so later to ask for help putting it in the ground. It's planted and happy, and we have several buckets of leftover soil to mix with my finished compost for the strip garden.
Today, we went to the local hardware store and spent a few minutes talking with the young man in their garden section. He's an enthusiastic gardener and was able to give us some good advice on plants that will work in our area. We get colder than Tucson but still quite hot in the summer, so what works in town doesn't necessarily work for us. For instance, the fig variety we got is not one of the two most commonly sold in town. We needed something hardier. Ours is a Texas Blue Giant and should cope with the cold quite well.
While we were there, he pointed out the pineapple guava trees they had. We'll need two but we only bought one today. He strongly recommended we buy the other one from another nursery so we can avoid having two identical clones; otherwise we won't ever get fruit. Once established, these are supposed to need very little water.
I still want to get a couple of nut trees and maybe some peaches, but first I need to get the one pineapple guava in the ground and find it a partner to plant, too. It's tempting to go to the nursery and bring home a forest of tree, but I know better. One step at a time will get me there. I'm rather clumsy so if I try to leap in with both feet at the same time, I'm likely to fall down.