Getting Back Into the Garden

By | April 30, 2014

Now that it’s almost May, we decided it was time to start getting the garden in shape for the spring and summer seasons.

Last year was the first year we had a garden, so it was a huge experiment. I thought we were starting at a pretty decent size, but I knew we could handle it, and I fully expected us to have some losses… but it turned out to be a pretty good experience, despite some issues, like our zucchini plants dying…twice. Ugh.

Anyway, when we first started with the garden last year, we just had the 3 large boxes Wyatt made from our old interior doors, which you can read out here.

Filling Garden Boxes 7

After a lot, a lot, a lot more hard work… (like stripping sod), we finally ended up here, this is after we added the berry area, and barricaded it from the greedy birds, planted the asparagus bins, and the eggplant at the far end.

Stone Garden Edging 5

So, after the garden all died last fall, this is where we were starting this spring:

Garden in March

Yikes….

I knew I wanted to change a few things up, just for practicality purposes, considering our tomato plants really, really, really need more space. I also wanted to add a bit more space for a few things we didn’t have room for last year. (Like hopefully watermelon…or a pumpkin?)

So, Wyatt got to work making me a couple new garden boxes. This time, he used some pallets his dad scored for free and graciously gifted us. We originally wanted to use them as a compost bin, but eventually decided it would be difficult to stir…not to mention difficult to keep critters out of, so we decided to use them as the frames for a couple new planting beds. He’ll be back to talk about that later on this week, but in the meantime, we needed to make a little more room for the new beds.

Expanding Garden Area 2014

We’re also hoping to add a few more plastic bins, again, donated by Wyatt’s parents, so we can separate each tomato plant and keep them from getting all intertwined with each other.

So, we needed to expand our garden area on both ends, by at least 5 feet or so. We started by playing with the remaining stone edging we had leftover from last year. You can read about how we saved those bricks  from our front landscaping work last year, here.)

Demoing Front Yard Landscaping 7

I laid all the pieces out and spent a long time trying to find the best arrangement. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough straight pieces to just extend the bed and keep our ends the same, so I had to really get creative to use only the pieces we had on hand.

Then, it was time to start removing the sod. You can read our post about doing that in a larger scale last year.

Expanding Garden 2014

We were pretty careful and got some great rolls to reuse in other places in the yard.

Stripping Sod to Expand Garden

Unfortunately, we were really working against the clock as thunderstorms were rolling in at the end of the day on Sunday. We were both rushing to remove all the sod, level out the soil, add weed barrier fabric, staples, and mulch, while trying not to leave a huge mess in case it started pouring at any moment.

Expanding Garden 2014 2

The shape turned out a little funny, but it works…after all, it’s a garden, not a prize-winning landscaping design…right?

Expanded Garden 2014

Luckily, we were able to finish in time. We even had time to lay the sod we stripped out in a few empty patches in the front yard. We did that last year as well, and luckily, it seems to have all lived…three cheers for slowly closing in on all the dead spots in our yard, one garden project at a time!

(the shorter stuff on the left is the original grass, the taller stuff in the middle is what we planted last year and the

Resodded Front Yard

So, since it was about to storm, I snapped a few hasty photos to share with you all of our “finished” product.

Expanded Garden Area 2014

Of course, the garden is still a long ways from being finished. There’s nothing planted yet…only the things that overwintered (berries and asparagus).

Asparagus Sprouts 2014

On that note, though, I’m excited to see our blueberries covered in blooms! The raspberries look like they area  little behind…but I’m still hopeful they will produce this year…even just a couple. We’re really hoping for more than just a few berries this year, and the strawberries and blueberries should make that happen for us…which means we’ll need to get the bird barrier ready to put up again.

Blueberry Blooms 2014

Anyway, there’s where we ended up on the garden when we ran inside to get out of the rain last night. We had a big, busy weekend, so we were both pretty exhausted by it all. But, there’s nothing that helps me sleep at night better than knowing we had a super productive day.

And, check it out…there’s a bigger garden out there.

Larger Garden Beds 2014

 

You can really see the difference when you see the whole view…

Expanded Garden 2014 2

Compared to last year at this point…

Garden Updates

I’m already getting really excited about growing our own fruits and veggies again this summer. What about you? Working on a garden project for your home? I keep telling my mom she needs to start a little garden at her house… it’s so fun to see food growing right in the backyard! What would you love to grow at your house?

 

2 thoughts on “Getting Back Into the Garden

  1. Lindsay

    LOVE this! Eric and I are planning on putting in a garden in the next few weeks (well, getting it all mapped out and stuff) so this post was super helpful. I’d love to hear how Wyatt created the planter boxes out of the pallets – I think that would work really well in our backyard. I’ve never had a garden before so I’m not sure what I’m doing but I’m excited to give it a try 🙂

    Reply
    1. Melissa Post author

      Yes, this would be a great way to get started with a garden. Last year was our first year so we’re still new to this project, too. (For sure not experts!) Be sure to check out the post he wrote about making those boxes. It’ll publish later on today. Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      Reply

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