March 29, 2011

Garden 2011 :: The beginning

This year we decided to get serious about our garden! Our first year we tried a raised bed garden that failed miserably. Working full time away from home and several weekends out of town made it difficult to keep up on the weeds and watering. Last year we decided to try our hand at the community garden offered by our 4-H County Extension Office. It was $20 for a plot and some of our friends had great success the summer before. It was a waste. We never made it out there to water and we had a CRAZY hot summer. But this year we are committed. We feel convicted to grow our own produce to freeze to help sustain us through the winter and that is just what we are going to do....we hope.

Luckily we are blessed with some GREAT friends who are willing to help us out and know a thing or two about farming. Our adopted college student, Jen, and her dad, Bill, came over this week to help us dig up some dirt and put in 3 raised bed planter boxes. They also supplied us with free composted soil full of all of the wonderful things a garden needs to help it grow including some sheep manure! We were able to get all the work done in 2 hours thanks to their help.

We started the project a few weeks ago when Phil put together the raised beds. We used decking supplies to help keep the boards together. We purchased 4 face-mounted double joist hangers for each raised bed. These should help keep the boards in place. The total cost for all three raised beds was about $65.
Next Jen's dad took off the top layer of soil and some sod to make way for the raised beds. The bobcat was excellent at taking the sod off and flipping over the dirt that was already there. We were able to use the sod we scrapped off to fill some dead patches in our front yard. After the area was cleared we put the beds together and spaced them evenly apart before filling them with the composted dirt and a small layer of soil over top. Here is the finished product.

They are ready to be planted! We need to plant some grass seed in between. I can't wait to get the seeds in the ground. We have one more smaller box to add to the end. It will be filled with dirt and hold the asparagus plants we bought this year.

Our seedlings are growing beautifully. Our tomato seedlings are pictured here!

We plan to grow: Sugar Snap Peas, Green Beans, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Carrots, Basil and Spinach. The Asparagus will be in a separate box and the Raspberry patch has been moved to the other side of the yard.

We can't wait to share more pictures of our garden with you as spring continues!

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