When we first looked at our house, the yard captivated me. I didn’t love love the house. It was ok. It had potential. But I love loved the backyard. It’s fenced, it’s private, it has an inground pool and it looked perfect for letting the dog run and play. Along the side of the house there is a little stretch that is largely unused and it just screamed “vegetable garden” to me.
I wasn’t necessarily planning to plant a garden this year with everything else we’re doing, but Katy Elliott, Bethany of b*spoke and Maggie inspired me with all of their garden chatter and it became apparent that a garden had to be built. My mom made the trip down to help me out, making the adventure all the more fun. I knew I wanted raised bed box gardens – I just think they are so cute. And if I’m going to do something, it has to be cute. (Sadly, I really do think this way.) I decided on two 4′x4′ box gardens and enlisted my husband Mike’s help measuring the area where they would go. He then got to work removing the existing sod.
It was blazing hot that day and our black lab, Nina, was feeling the heat. She decided to “help” Dad out by digging around in the newly dug up dirt and curling up in it to cool off.
Here she is in all of her dirt-covered glory, while Mike breaks his back ripping up the yard so I can realize my dream of adorable little box gardens in our side yard. She is such a good helper!
After the sod was removed, my mom and I built the box gardens while Mike went back to painting inside. (We like to multi-task around here.) We used 2×10 pine, which I purchased in 16′ lengths at Home Depot where they kindly cut each piece into four 4′ sections, free of charge. (Remember if you build a garden that pressure treated lumber is a no no. No one wants nasty chemicals in their food!) Using 2-1/2″ exterior screws, we attached the boards together with three screws at each corner. We set them in place, leveled them up and then filled them with a combination of Scott’s Miracle-Gro Garden Soil and peat moss at a ratio of about 3:1.
When thinking about what plant, I decided to keep it simple this first year and focus on things I love. In the end I went for lots of tomatoes, tons of herbs, a couple of bell peppers (one orange, one red) and a lone zucchini plant.
I went with six tomato plants in four different varieties – roma, yellow cherry, striped heirloom and 4th of July tomatoes. (Whatever those are – I admit to picking it because the photo looked good.) For herbs I went with two basil plants (I have a serious basil addiction), oregano, dill, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, and cilantro.
So there you have them! My very first vegetable garden(s). I’m so excited to see everything grow and can’t wait to get my hands dirty this year learning the ropes. We are also members of a local CSA so my main goal is to supplement our CSA share and learn more about tending to a garden. I’ll share the progress as the summer goes on! Anyone else planning a garden this year?