Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Joy of Raised Garden Beds

And I'm gardening, again!

Ok, we all know I've been container gardening... I've mentioned that a few times.  But now I'm doing some in-ground gardening, as well.

Don't worry.  My containers are here with me, and my tomatillos are covered with brilliant yellow blooms.

several yellow tomatillo blooms on a full-sized plant.

But now I've been able to help my mother begin her garden patio.  Her patio will consist of four raised beds along the corners of a square area.  I believe she'll be using paving stones to create the platform.

So far, this is all that's been done.

one 3x3 square and one 3x6 rectangle, both black and standing roughly one foot high, arranged to create a perfect corner

There will be three more like it.  Indeed, a little birdie (named Mom) told me that I'll be out there helping to get a second bed done this afternoon.

Dimensions?  The raised bed here consists of one 3x3 square, and one 6x3 rectangle.  They're set approximately 1 foot high.  The result?

Lots of room for vegetables and herbs!  Yummers!!!

I bet you think that garden bed was filled using store bought soil... or maybe compost.

Well, the soil was actually taken from an area off behind my grandparents' garage.  Soil was deposited there after construction of my grandfather's workshop - ages ago! - and forgotten.

Big heap of half dug out soil overgrown with wildflowers and leaves.

Well, it has now been remembered. 


I mean, seriously... who wants to get their soil from a bag?  It has to be bagged up in plastic, which is produced by using petroleum, then transported to your local nursery, thereby using unnecessary fossil fuels, then emptied out, after which the bag ends up in a landfill.

Local is a much better option.  

It's free, it doesn't require extra packaging, and it's nutritious.  My mom is one smart cookie.

Anyway, after everything was ready we planted cucumber, carrot, and beet seeds, as well as two tomato transplants.

A week later, we discovered this:

A line of cucumber sprouts bursting out from the black soil.
Cucumber joy!!!

They're extraordinarily healthy and there are a lot of pollinators in the area.  You know what that means?

It means you'll be getting a blog post on how to can yummy, crunchy, perfect cucumbers in the future!  I'm thinking dill and spicy dill.  Although sweet pickles are another possibility...

What do you think?

As an aside... do you remember my itty bitty cinder block herb garden?  You could use old cinder blocks to create a garden this same size and shape - and you could plant shallow rooted herbs within the open spaces of the blocks as a bonus.

One raised bed + cinder blocks = separate zones for herbs = better use of space!

Plus... it'll keep herbs that propagate via roots (like my beloved mint) in check.


So what are you waiting for?  Go plant some homegrown joy!

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