It all began with this. When we moved into my fiancés old house back in December he knew what was coming. Planting, digging, more planting, and more digging. There used to be a medium size dog lot in this area a few years ago so the grass wasn’t too overgrown and as soon as I saw it, I had a vision. Time to Dig. We started the first week of April with the digging, and when I had extended it to what I thought was a decent size (roughly 10×15 ft) we started on building the frame. I will get into all the things that I have now decided to do better next year in a bit. Haha.
So we got the frame built and turned over all the soil. When you are digging this much ground with a shovel and a garden hoe, you realize very quickly why the mechanical tiller was invented. My back and hands were in a whole new level of sore for a while (and I’m only 24). Without a tiller the whole process took around 3 days to dig it all out and make the frame. This is mainly one person working, and every once in a while I would get the male counterpart to take over for a few minutes. So, then it rained, and a few days after that we turned over the soil again. I’m not really sure why we did this, or if you are supposed to or not, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time.
The first thing I noticed was wrong was “How am I supposed to get to the things in the middle without walking on the bed?”. Mistake number one. If you are doing a mixed box garden, they should be no larger than 4 feet wide to ensure you will not be walking in your garden and compacting your soil. This is especially true for gardeners that have limited space and want to utilize every inch they can. So with our frame already made and planting week right around the corner, we had no option but to lay down 2×4’s to divide up the garden and create little paths. This is a common method, but while it does not press the soil as much as walking right on the dirt, it still compacts the ground underneath a little at a time and should not be done for extended periods. Next year we will take apart our frame and create numerous smaller raised beds that we can reach fully across without stepping inside the frame at all.
I realize I need to get the tarps and scrap wood out of the photo, but oh well. Another day perhaps. So we just used old wood that we had lying around out behind our shed and sectioned off each individual area. You can see a diagram of what we planted an where in the “Garden Layout” post. We started planting in this particular bed around April 22, 2013. We are in Kentucky so most of your spring planting is done in Early April to be available for Harvest by Summer and Fall.
I also have a few things planted in the front yard or along our walkway. I had to stand my ground on that one. As we were digging out around our concrete walkway to create the beds on either side I mentioned planting herbs and veggies. This put my fiancé in a state of disbelief. “Normal people plant flowers along their sidewalk, not food.” Well I won, naturally, and we now have Bell Peppers, Parsley, Basil, Brussel Sprouts, Artichokes, and Swiss Chard planted right in the front yard within reach from the concrete walk. 😀 It is glorious and I know I am not the only one that would think so.
Since planting in the backyard garden on the 22nd, we have seen major growth in the cabbage and tomato “seedlings” that we transplanted and, though I haven’t checked today, our lettuce seeds had sprouted. Hopefully in a few days we will see much more tiny green leaves popping out of the ground and bask in the visual rewards of all our hard work. It will be many months before we can eat from the garden out there, but it will be worth the wait. If only one thing grows out there, I will be one happy planter.
Fresh Basil and the Mini Italian Garden it came from.
Beautiful 45 Day and Red Cabbage. These were transplanted seedlings but have grown almost an in upwards and are so perky just after a few weeks. 😀 Heres hoping they get HUGE.
HAPPY PLANTING TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD DAY.