In our weekend update post yesterday, I already hinted a little bit at what we worked on out in the garden…adding dirt and mulch…but we also added plants!
But before we did that, we had to weed. We had totally neglected this earlier in the spring because we knew we weren’t ready to plant, but we wanted to make sure and remove as many weeds as possible before planting to avoid a messy garden later in the year. This was pretty easy because the dirt in the raised beds was nice and loose so we could quickly just grab and pull each weed out by the roots.
Imagine my surprise when as I was pulling weeds, I found this:
Yep, that’s lettuce! It survived the winter after not being harvested at the end of last year, and it came up and really flourished under all the weeds. Crazy.
I couldn’t wait to get it all washed up and ready to eat…even though I had to wash it in the bathroom.
We grabbed those and then started “tilling” our soil. Since these are raised beds, they are still nice and loose, but it’s good to mix everything up and get it all turned over.
We also added several bags of soil to each bed since it had settled out a bit. We used a mix of potting mix and garden soil, with some top soil mixed in.
And, I spread out the little compost I had created over the winter, adding several scoops to each bed.
I was so excited the little seedlings I’d started were all still alive and well, unlike last year. Here’s my little bean spouts, all lined up and ready to grow!
We also had to add dirt to the new beds, mainly these three new plastic planters we scored for free (thank you!) from Wyatt’s dad.
We washed them off and then Wyatt drilled some holes in the bottom of each one to allow for good drainage.
Finally, it was time for planting.
Here’s one tomato plant in its new home. I think these barrels should work well for keeping the plants more separated.
Remember last year when we had so much trouble with them overgrowing their cages?
I adjusted our layout a bit to accommodate for the added space, but kept a few things the same (rotating your planting locations is always a good idea, but since we’re working with limited space and nice new soil in raised beds, it’s not such an issue).
I tried not to overfill the beds this year, but it’s hard because I just get so darn excited about wanting to GROW ALL THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES…
Here’s the pepper area…we had good luck with those last year so we really went for it this time with five different varieties. Those are little radishes down the middle. We’ll see how they do there.
Here’s our beans and pea plants…which are currently still waiting for their trellis…that we’ll hopefully get built tonight. Maybe…
I planted the popcorn…but it isn’t looking so hot…already.
Somethings eating it. Can you see that? The one in the middle was as tall as the others yesterday.
And this year, much to my dismay, we have three cucumber plants (three smaller ones was cheaper than one larger one) so we may end up with WAY too many of those, if we have as good of luck with them as we did last year.
We also added mulch to any areas that were a little sparse, it’s not only useful for preventing weeds, but the ceder mulch is supposed to help deter bugs…not sure that works that well, but it probably doesn’t hurt. You can see the exposed weed barrier along the fence we needed to cover up.
It looked a little funny when we first put it down because the new mulch was a lot darker than the old stuff, but a couple days in the sunshine has already evened it out.
Then, we added mulch to the inside of the beds as well. We did this last year and it’s really really helpful for preventing weeds around the veggies. And, it helps to hold in moisture during the dry summer months so we have to water less. Just be sure to keep the mulch away from the base of your plants or they’ll get too hot and make your tender plants wilt.
Meanwhile, Wyatt wasn’t helping with the planting as much as he was building me a new bird barrier for the berries. He’ll share all about that tomorrow, but let me give you a little preview…it’s awesome!
So, there’s the “little” garden update for you all. (Oops, this post has almost 1000 words!)
I’m super excited for everything to start growing. I’m already looking into some new pest management systems for this year because I’ll be darned it I give up my zucchini plants this year without a fight!
Tell me what’s your favorite fruit or vegetable and if you’ve ever dreamed of growing it yourself. I never expected to have a garden like this (I thought someday I might have a traditional garden, if we ever moved to the country, but I’m so happy this is where we ended up!) And then, tell me why you’ve never tried growing that item yourself…I bet you could if you tried!