This year we finally built and planted a raised garden bed. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how I’ve been wanting to do this for at least 3 years now. My awesome husband finally made my little dream a reality. We found a tutorial online at vintagerevivals.com and built a very inexpensive bed using cedar fencing and a 4×4. It turned out great. We ended up building it a bit late in the planting season because of all the rain we’ve been getting. It seemed like the weekdays when Jeremy had to work were all really nice, but by the time the weekend would roll around, it would rain nonstop. Blah.
We purchased seeds a while back at a local nursery called Mulhall’s. We decided on: sweet corn, spinach, romaine lettuce, basil, tomatoes ( 2 big boy beefsteak and 1 pink girl), jalepenos, sunflowers and zinnias. We planted everything but the tomatoes and jalepeno which we picked up at our local farmer’s market. We also ended up buying a green pepper plant while we were there and planted that too. We also bought brussel sprout seeds, but those will have to wait until late summer to be planted.
We ended up using smartgardner.com to map out our garden into square foot sections. It was very helpful since we don’t have much gardening experience. This isn’t the best quality photo, but it gives you an idea of how the website works. The three blank spots are where we planted more sunflowers and two varieties of zinnias.
I plan to keep a garden journal, as well as posting weekly updates here to keep track of everything. I’m so thrilled to finally be trying my hand at true gardening. Not that container gardening isn’t “true” gardening, but it didn’t feel like it to me. Especially because I didn’t really have a sunny space for a bunch of containers.
Here is how the process looked.
First after completing the bed, we picked the sunniest spot in our yard. This was the best spot given that we have very large mature trees that shade most of our yard for most of the day. It’s not where I would’ve put it if I had a choice. Fingers crossed that this spot gets enough sun to grow everything.
Then, Jeremy carefully dug up the grass so that we could transplant it to another section of our yard that has trouble growing grass seed. He worked his butt off. So far, it’s doing well over there, so I think it was worth the effort.
We had to pick up where we left off the day before because Jeremy had to go buy all the soil. But before adding the soil he stapled some liner to the inside so that it covered the seam where the fencing comes together. That way we won’t lose any of the soil out of the sides when it rains. He’s so smart. Then he tilled up the ground a bit and added the two different kinds of soil; top soil and garden soil and mixed them together. (Looking at these photos really makes me want a privacy fence…not like I didn’t already. But we don’t plan to be in this house more than another year, so I guess I can handle it for one more year.)
After that he leveled it off.
When he was finished, I measured it out into square foot sections and added the twine to map it out. Then I planted the seeds according to our smartgardener.com plan and made some super quick and not cute garden markers (I plan on making some cute ones when we get back from vacation). After that, I planted the seeds in their designated squares and gave everything a good watering.
And here is what our garden looked like after week one. No seedlings popping up yet, but everything is planted.
We didn’t have a section in our plan for the green pepper plant, so I just added it to the center of the tomato and jalepeno sections. Hopefully it has enough room to grow.
We also planted some sunflowers over on the side of our house where there isn’t any landscaping and where we’ve formerly grown pumpkins. They are doing really well there and already growing quite a bit.
This garden has already brought me so much joy. I know that will only multiply as everything continues to grow.