On another note, we’ve decided to venture into the vegetable gardening world again. I’m excited! I’ve missed having fresh veggies. So we dug out the old Yardening video by Jeff Ball and refreshed our memory on designing a raised-bed vegetable garden.
Looks like Sunday will be the better day to get started. We’ll be doing just one bed this year which will be 4′ x 24′. With a lot of the trees gone from behind the house now, it should get more sun and hopefully do better than our first attempt after moving in. So far the plan is just for tomatoes, squash, purple string beans, (yes purple – they turn green when cooked) limas, and lettuce.
The beds will be made of 2×6 boards with 1 1/2″ PVC pipes strapped to the sides at 4′ intervals. We’ll also get some 1″ flexible piping cut into 8′ lengths that will be inserted across the bed into the PVC pipe. This will give us a mini greenhouse to add plastic or netting to. We will also be able to make our bean trellis 8′ high using the same PVC pipes for supports. Stay tuned!
The April rains quit and the ground dried up enough to begin construction on our raised garden bed. We rented a tiller and worked up an area about 5′ x 25′. Once the ground was tilled, we assembled 3 2’x6′ boards for one side that made it 24′ long. We attached a 12″ piece of pvc pipe every 4′. Final size of the box was 4′ x 24′ and looks like this:
Besides anchoring the box a bit, the pipes will allow us to bend flexible pipe to create a mini greenhouse. We can then cover the beds with plastic, netting or garden fleece.
We still need to add some sort of fencing to keep Dumb and Dumber (the dogs) out of it, but so far they are keeping away. Hopefully we can get a couple early crops in next weekend, and finish the rest of the planting by mid-May when we’ve past the last frost.
The past weekend proved to be a record-breaker with temps in the low 90’s. Too hot for April!
In spite of the heat, we managed to get the garden in.
Once we tilled the soil again, we put down two 25′ soaker hoses:
Then we put a weed block down over the entire bed. We found a roll of <a href=”Easy Gardener 1623 WeedBlock Natural Landscape Fabric – 40-Inch x 36-Foot“>corn-based natural fabric and decided to use it, even tho it didn’t quite cover the bed. This will keep the weeds down somewhat.
Then I planted lettuce, zucchini, yellow summer squash, green beans, cucumber and peas. Along with 5 tomato plants. 4 different varieties and one cherry tomato. We’ll see what works the best.
Already I’m looking to start a second bed for a fall crop and next year. I’ll take some more pictures once things have sprouted. We will be building a trellis on the side of the bed for the peas to climb on.
Hoping to keep the rabbits at bay, we purchased a 100′ roll of black plastic 1″ tubing at Home Depot and cut it into 14 86″ pieces. As these keep their circular shape nicely, they work great for our garden frames:
We strung string along the top and sides to give it extra strength and support and then placed deer netting over the entire garden. Weighted down at the ends and along the sides, hopefully it will keep the rabbits from snacking on our lettuce and sprouting beans and peas!
We can later add fleece to provide some shade from the hot summer sun and protection from flying insects, or plastic in the fall to extend our growing season.