Monday, October 5, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

When we moved into our house in February, there were three really big evergreen bushes just next to the side entrance of our house. We wanted to cut them down because someone could easily hide in them at night and surprise us, and also because they were too close to the foundation.
Here is the house "after." The only problem once we cut them down was that we had three ugly stumps, and were too cheap to pay someone to dig them out. So we decided to put in raised beds to let the stumps soften up for a couple of years so we could pull them out.

We made two raised beds that are 8'x 4', spaced a few feet apart for us to walk through. To make two, we bought:

~three 12" x 12' boards, cut into four 8-foot pieces and four 4-foot pieces

~one 4"x4"x 8' board, cut into 8 one-foot sections

~a pack of at least 16 wooden stakes (can be found at Home Depot by the silver bullets)

~32 badass 3" stainless wood screws

~64 slightly less badass 3" stainless wood screws

*Disclaimer: This drawing was made in PAINT, yes paint. Therefore it looks like it was drawn by a three-year-old. Paint automatically does this to even the most experienced drafter, so please bear with me!*

Here is a diagram of how to make one:

You could also use this same plan to make a sandbox. (TIP: some online plans say to use carriage bolts--don't do it! The average person's drill won't go all the way through a 4x4, and let me tell you from experience, this is WAY more trouble than it's worth. Just use stainless screws.)

If you are replicating this project, make sure that your lumber is NOT treated, because you don't want nasty chemicals leaching into your garden to be absorbed by the veggies. You can use cedar or redwood (best for the environment but also the most expensive), or you can use regular pine and paint it or seal it (not great for the environment but better than treated lumber and not as expensive as hardwood).
This is a picture of the garden in May:

You can see above how we laid out our baby plants. We did this in May, and learned a LOT about gardening in the process! In the bed pictured here, we laid it out as follows:

Here is a picture of the garden in July. Perfect, right? The cucumbers are climbing up the picket fence, and everything is going juuuust peachy keen! The second raised bed has a forest of basil planted in it, along with some wildflowers.
First came the cucumbers--we got somewhere between one and two dozen cucumbers before something bad happened to the plants and they rotted. Ok, so cucmbers were gone by late July.
Next, the tomatoes went CRAZY and started growing like nobody's business. They stole all the light from the zuchinni, so we only got one little veggie before they all kicked the bucket!
So then in August we started getting yummy bell peppers and lots and lots of tomatoes. The romas were kind of mealy, but the grape tomatoes were AMAZING!

And now, for the picture of the garden in October.


Wtf man? I am kind of afraid its going to take over the world, Pinky... Yeah, that enormous jungle right there is 4 tomatoe plants!

So the next question do you end a garden?

Next year we will definitely space the plants out more, and maybe plant less of each type.

Does anyone else have stories from the garden this year? Any adventures or misadventures you would care to share?

1 comment:

dad said...


You need software!!