Spring was interesting this year. I took about two months off from sculpting and painting while I dealt with some family, house and yard things. Some things were time sensitive, like getting the garden in and planning my sister-in-law's vacation away from us. Others were things in which I simply wished to indulge.
The most important project was building the garden boxes and getting the planting done. Susan and I have been reading Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. His plan is pretty simple so we decided to try it. Please note that when I say we on any of these projects, Susan helped fund them, but I did all of the labor. Anyway, here are a few photos of the work as it progressed.
The boxes are built from 2"x6" framing pine. I had some paint left over from a sea gaming board I made a while ago so they got painted blue.
We trucked in about 600 lbs. of potting soil, peat moss and compost to fill the boxes. Then they were gridded and planted. The grid provides the spacing for the individual types of plants. Some need a full foot between them, others need 9, 6 or 3 inch spacing.
We decided to put in tomatoes, hot peppers, green and black beans, spinach and some herbs. The tomatoes and Franken-beans (GMO hybrid seeds) are growing like crazy. The spinach is having a rough time. The herbs are well with the exception of the basil, which bums me a bit since that's my favorite. We've had a lot of rain and some of the plants just don't seem to like too much water.
|Black beans, peppers and the ailing spinach.|
|Tomatoes and herbs.|
|Franken-beans and more peppers.|
I also got the bug to try growing hops. I ordered two cascade rhizomes and planted one vertically and one horizontally to see which worked better. The horizontal showed sprouts about a week sooner than the other, but both are doing really well.
All in all, this raised bed gardening took a bit of work and about $200 to get set up. But now I take my first cup of coffee and walk out every day to survey my realm. Five minute of removing any volunteer plants and another five of watering if it hasn't rained recently and the gardening work is done for the day. It's almost as if I'm cheating.