A New Garden for a New Home

New Raised Bed Garden

A couple of years ago I got this crazy idea that my family needed a garden. At the time we were eating a lot of fresh produce and it seemed silly to continue buying it from the grocery store when we could simply grow it ourselves. How hard could it be, right?

In my mind, the hardest part was going to be locating the raised bed planters so that I could take advantage of the Square Foot Gardening System. We lived on a rather large hill so our small flat sections of ground were at a premium. So, I did the next best thing, I cut into a hill and terraced my planters.

Digging out the boxes was a lot of work but my wife and I completed that phase of the project in a day. Building the planters took a little longer as I worked on them when spare time allowed. When it was finished, it looked good. Before long we filled the planters with seeds and waited for our crop to come in.

Seedlings began to emerge and before long we had a variety of plants growing. Some items did very well (such as Sugar Snap Peas and Green Beans) while others were a disappointment (Tomatos and Strawberries). The problem wasn’t that tending to the plants was difficult, I just selected a poor location for the garden. My plants weren’t getting the hours of sunlight that they needed.

The following year we moved out of that home and left the garden behind. I had grand ideas for vegetables that were semi-shade tolerant but it just didn’t make sense to invest the time into a project that we would be abandoning. When we arrived at the new house, it was too late into the growing season to make a garden worthwhile.

With the growing season upon us, I’ve been telling my wife that we should get a garden up and running at our new home. Things have been extremely busy and I fell behind. I didn’t get my seedlings started indoors like I planned and all I had for actual raised beds planters was an idea.

Wife: “I thought you said that you were going to put in a garden?”
Me: “I plan to but the new deck changed my plans.”
Wife: “So, what are you planning on doing now?”
Me: “Look at all this sun (waves arms around). Why take up space out in the yard when I can skirt the outside of the deck with raised beds?”
Wife: “Sounds good to me but you better get on it…”

I got started on the project about three weeks ago. I purchased six 2x10x8 boards and roughed out a couple of boxes. Because I was setting the boxes into a hill, I needed to do a little digging. A little digging turned into lot of digging as I hit one rock after another.

I worked on the project as I had time but I was begging to fall behind in the growing season. I kicked it into high gear yesterday and built and installed the final raised bed planter while my wife ran out to pick up a Garden Soil Blend.

The finished product is roughly 50 square feet of planting space and uses nearly a cubic yard (about one ton) of soil. Right now we have 4 Tomato, 2 Jalapeno, 1 Wonder Pepper, and 9 Lettuce plants in the ground. I started some seeds but left myself space to transplant additional plants if the seeds don’t do well.

Hopefully by this time next month I’ll be showing you photos of a thriving garden and raving about the quality of produce that my family will be eating (not to mention the reduction in our grocery expenses).

Vegetable Garden - Planter Boxes

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1 comments On A New Garden for a New Home

  • Walt – that looks great. Raised bed gardens are definitely the way to go with the small lots of most houses. Your terrace work looks really good.

    I might suggest that this fall after you close out the garden consider placing a geotextile behind the trellis. This will really stabilize the soil to prevent erosion, and most importantly, preserve your good garden soil in the raised bed.

    I’m not expert gardener, but we like to have one whenever we can. We live on a military installation right now so we can’t. Maybe next house we can have one.

    Melons and squash grown really well mixed in with your vertical crops like tomato and peas. Potatos and cabbages have done well for us in the fall.

    Good luck with the growing.

    -john

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