Friday, April 8, 2011

Raised Bed Gardening 101 - The Blind Leading the Blind!

Last weekend we put in our raised bed gardens, and yes, my husband was adamantly against doing it. He was raised in a family that ALWAYS had a family garden, and he has long since determined that Kroger is the only garden he wants to get his crops from. Too bad he married an old soul, who loves gardening, canning, and everything old-fashioned.

This year I finally talked him into taking the plunge, selling my plan with the motto "we will keep it VERY small, do raised beds - guess what honey, you won't even have to till up anything!" worked, although he really knew it was easier not to put up a fight. And my plan was to start out small, I swear. But somehow, like most things I put my hands in, I just wanted to do more and more.

Here are some pictures from the FOUR raised beds that are currently in place...there are definitely two more going in (although I haven't exactly broken this news to hubby yet). Of course, this was a family adventure so Boy #1 and #2 were right in the middle of everything...

Picking the perfect spot...and in a predominately shady yard, that is a challenge.

Helping with the heavy stuff...

We had bought him some Spongebob tools, but he insisted on getting a Diego watering can so he can help water the garden.

We laid down paper bags as our weed barrier...this is the method recommended in a recent class I took.

Of course, Daddy was in charge of hauling the dirt.

Digging in the dirt (and cow manure fertilizer we put in there) was the highlight...OCD mommy rushed them into the bath asap.

My finished beds...but this is only with potatoes and onions planted in the bottom right bed - and a randon dill plant that came back from last year so I transplanted it.

The next day I went to Lowes and got cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, and five strawberry plants.

And this is what Boy #1 looked like that night...nothing better than gardening to wear them out!

So, what's next for our garden? I am planning on harvesting my greens by late spring, but two more beds will have to go in for my summer veggies. I also want have a separate bed for my herbs, which I LOVE - if you have never grown herbs, they are so easy and completely change your meals.

For summer veggies, we will have peas, carrots, peppers, squash, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and I am branching out to try some heirloom varieties because I love them. We are going to try some melons too, but that will be on a small scale...Boy #1 insisted on buying a pack of corn seeds, but they are tricky because they have to cross-pollinate and I am note sure I have the space for that. And with an uncle who farms all the free corn we could want, there really isn't any need. And we also have good friends who grow blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries so those aren't a necessity - my strawberry plants are a test this year anyway, my husband swears the birds will eat them all before we get any.

I know that it will be a lot of work, but it will totally be worth it. I love fresh veggies and it is about time I started growing some myself. I am just lucky to have three boys at home who are willing to help fulfill my dream!

1 comment:

  1. I love all your pictures! The garden looks great! I'm actually heading out to F2F this weekend to pick up some lettuce seedlings because I slacked and didn't plant my seeds early enough. But Bill will be busy all weekend working on our garden. I can't wait to can with you this summer! :)