Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Get ready, Get Set... Garden!

I'm super excited about my garden this year! We are building new garden beds in the location where our shed and trailer used to be. This is the middle of our yard, between our house and the garage. With both of those two big things now moved or removed, my husband has been working hard on building and filling the beds.

Here is a shot of the first three he has built. These are three feet wide and about 18 inches tall. We are using FREE/recycled materials (mostly old fencing). My husband is building these in four foot sections, based on the fence boards we have. There is a cap around the edges so there's a place to put tools, etc. while you're working. All the beds were filled with soil, compost, and perlite to help hold in moisture. The soil came from what was dug out of our old garden, compost was free from a family member, and perlite was left over from our strawberry tubs. We added the compost and other fertilizers based on this general fertilizer program from a local organic gardening store, including kelp meal, blood meal, soft rock phosphate, bone meal, and greensand. Most of these we had from past gardens, so very little investment was involved.

You can see in the picture that I've got some FREE plants from another Freecycler sitting on the edge, waiting to be planted. In this bed, the sugar pod peas, spinach, turnips, beets, cauliflower, and broccoli have already come up. No sign of the carrots or scallions yet. I haven't had much luck with carrots in the past, so my fingers are crossed! You can also see that the orange tree is dropping oranges -- we need to drink more orange juice! The bricks we just purchased from someone off Craigslist -- these will become a walkway from our back door to the garage at one end of the beds, and a small patio at the other end. I don't know if we have enough yet!

So far, we've only planted one of the three beds built. The second is waiting for some of my indoor seed starts to be ready. This year, I've decided to try using some of the egg cartons we have saved. It seems to be working fairly well so far. There is broccoli (somewhat ahead of those planted in the bed on the same day), cauliflower, and two kinds of lettuce. As soon as these are ready, they will all go into the second bed.

There's something exciting about watching plants emerge from the soil. It's magical and also very satisfying, helping the plants grow. At least, I think I'm helping!

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