Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Early Spring Planting and Plans for More Raised Beds

I love my garden bed that we built 3 years ago. My husband built it out of redwood and it has held up nicely. We found the plans for it from Sunset Magazine. We omitted the PVC parts in ours. So far I have not had to cover it in winter. Built with 2x6s and 4x4 posts, it stands about a foot high and is 8 feet by 4 ft. Last year, I had tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, peas, beans, basil, parsley, and other herbs growing.

After the summer harvest, I converted it to my winter garden, adding broccoli, Tuscan kale, fennel, and onions. My parsley plants survived though our mild winter (although every resource tells me these are annuals). My oregano and tarragon and starting to show new growth, and my rosemary and thyme are hearty as ever. My volunteer arugula from last year's seed are filling in patches. Yesterday I added sugar snap peas and two types of beets to fill out the box. I have a little bit of room left, that I will fill in with herbs. I will move my marjoram out of its container, plus I want to add some chives. I have more arugula seeds that I can add as well, plus I have red chard seed that I need to use up. It is amazing when you think of how much food can grow in such a small space.

I took the time to draft up a plan for building 4 new raised garden beds around my existing box. Good thing too, because my existing garden bed will be full before March! I'm going to need to put my tomatoes somewhere, and don't forget the basil. I wanted to add something that would look nice, so I didn't just want to put more rectangular boxes up. The two larger side beds will be 10 feet by 4 feet, with a cut out to accommodate a two foot pathway between beds. The square beds will be 4 feet by 4 feet, and two feet high. I plan on using these for my vining plants, like my cucumbers and squash.
The total cost of the 4 boxes should be about $350 if using lumber from the hardware store. I'm hoping to find a cheaper place to pick up the wood to reduce our cost. 
Stay tuned for updates!

I want to know what your gardening plans are for the year, or what you have already planted. You can share your stories below or on Instagram (creativemamamessyhouse) with #CMMHgreenthumb. I'd love to hear from you or see your pictures.


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