Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Putting It to Bed

We have been experiencing really mild weather, especially considering that today marks the first day of spring. So of course we've been thinking about our garden. Actually, we started talking about expanding our garden a couple months ago and finally put our plans into action over the last two weekends.

The first year of our garden, we had two 8' x 12' beds that looked like this:

Last year, we combined them and the area between them to make one large 12' x 24' garden.

Our garden space in that area is pretty much used up, so we decided the next place to expand was along the side of the house. We had a little planning session and came up with doing five raised beds. One would be 6' x 6' with a 4' x 4' double-height bed inside it, then two 4' x 4' beds on each side. The gaps between the beds would be 2', enough room to get the lawn mower through.

Keith headed out to Lowe's to pick up the 2" x 6" boards and screws we would need. Once he was home and Bert was down for his nap, we got to work in the garage. I was the official measurer and board-holder, Keith was in charge of sawing.

It didn't take long to get all the boards cut, maybe 45 minutes or so, and then we were ready to assemble. Keith had been scoping out a scrap wood pile at the welding shop around the corner and brought home a bunch of 2" x 2" wood that we used to create the corners. We left the corner pieces 18" long so that we can staple our wire fence to it to keep the rabbits out.

So in the space of an afternoon, we were able to get these beds put together and in place along the side of the house.

Next up was laying down some paper to keep the grass from growing up in the beds. We had a roll of landscape paper leftover from another project, so we used that up and then just used newspapers to cover the rest.

When all the paper was down and the beds were lined up straight, Keith went to a local garden center for some mushroom soil to fill them. He mixed it with some peat moss before shoveling it into the beds. I did important work too, like getting the bottle tree my brother made for me out of the basement and digging around for some bottles to put on it. Sadly, we only have brown and green bottles so far, so it isn't the prettiest bottle tree. Not yet anyway.

It may only be March, but Keith got a little sunburn on the back of his neck from being outside all day. Poor fair-skinned guy. Which reminds me I need to pick up some sunscreen for Bert if we are going to start spending a lot more time outside. I'll have a little lobster on my hands if I don't. I thought I had a picture of Bert playing outside to post, but I guess I don't. I'll have to get on that.

The big decision now is what is going in the beds. We still need to sit down and figure out exactly what will go where, but we know we want to plant more cabbage, peas, beans and carrots than last year and we would like to give butternut squash, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes a try. Plus all the other stuff like spinach and lettuce, corn, peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and undoubtedly, more of Keith's gourds.

So that's how we've been filling our past couple weekends, building more garden beds and some spring clean-up around the yard. I am itching to start planting things but I think that might be jumping the gun a bit.


  1. Ooh, I'm jealous of all that gardening space! And that bottle tree---I'm intrigued. That's something I've not seen before, but I likey likey.

    I'd love to try and plant butternut squash (I'm a huge fan) but I don't think we have the sun in our paltry yard. Can't wait to see what your beds yield.

  2. funny you should post this today. I got out the flower seeds that I have purchased and want to start some indoors now that we're home. I also dragged out the aero garden and got it ready for petunias. Tomorrow I shall plug it in and see if it still works.


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