We first needed to prepare the area for where our eventual garden would be located. Because the majority of our 1/4 acre lot is trees, there was really only one area in which the garden would get some sunlight throughout the day. That area was located on the side of our house and looked like this before we started:
|LOCATION FOR GARDEN|
- You can amend the soil more easily (and, as you can see from the above photo, we weren't dealing with great soil conditions to begin with)
- You can access the plants without compacting the soil (i.e. stepping in between the plants)
- The garden drains better
|ME TACKLING ANOTHER GARDEN RELATED PROJECT (please ignore my outfit, my hair, and my hat...we all have bad days)|
In order to raise the garden, we needed something to act as a "curb" to hold the soil in place. There are several options...wood, concrete block, stone, etc. We opted to use some granite belgian block that already existed in our yard.
|BELGIAN BLOCK "PATIO"= FUTURE GARDEN CURBING|
|BELGIAN BLOCKS READY TO BE PLACED|
After Nate finished removing the rock drainage bed and transplanting some of the hosta that were in the way, we began digging trenches to set our curbing. We opted for a 6'x8' garden bed. This size was appropriate for the space that we had to work with, but is also a nice size for a raised garden bed. All of the vegetables in a raised garden bed should be accessible from the perimeter of the garden to avoid compaction, so the bed should remain small.
Once the trenches were dug we began setting our blocks on end (Each block was approximately 4"x4"x8").
|SETTING OUR CURBING|
|NATE SHOWING THE BLOCK WHO'S BOSS|
|CURBING FINISHED AND READY FOR VEGGIES|
|VIEW FROM GATE WHEN ENTERING BACKYARD|
|LOOKING BACK TOWARDS FRONT YARD|
|EXISTING RASPBERRY PATCH|
|REORGANIZED AND TRENCHED|
|CURBING SET (Thanks Honey!)|
- Miracle Gro garden soil
- Vegetable starter plants
- Tomato cages
- Fencing to prevent the wascally wabbits from eating our veggies
|GARDEN SOIL AND VEGGIE PLANTS|
- 2 Tomatoes
- 2 Jalapenos
- 1 Habenero plant
- 1 Yellow Squash
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Green Pepper
- 1 Chive
- Green Garden Onions (childhood memory, remember?!?!)
*Side Note: We also bought some herbs (basil, mint, rosemary,and thyme) that we planted in containers that are located on our deck.
Nate rented a 2 HP rototiller and worked the Miracle Gro garden soil into the soil that existed in our beds. We sunk the two tomato cages into the two back corners of the bed and planted the rest of the vegetable plants. We kept the tags that came with the veggies and placed them beside each plant. We also decided to place a large piece of flagstone (also existed on the property already) down the center of each bed for easy access down the middle. This wasn't necessary as we could access every plant from the perimeter but it made things slightly easier so we went with it.
For fencing, we opted for a green (we wanted black but couldn't find it) poly mesh garden fence. The fencing came in a 40"x30' roll.
|FENCING PROJECT UNDERWAY|
|THINGS ARE GROWING WELL!|
|YELLOW SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI|
We have already picked two batches of raspberries this season. The vegetables aren't here yet but we have a lot of things starting!
Our herbs in the containers are also doing great and we have been able to use the basil and the mint (yummy Mojitos!). The thyme and rosemary are flourishing but we just haven't had a chance to use them yet.
So, we started with this:
Not bad...not bad at all.