Facelift on the Veggie Garden

by Emily on July 19, 2011

Home-ownership is fun…except when something goes wrong and you can’t just call the landlord right?  One of my biggest requests when we were looking for our home, was to have a place to garden.  I totally  lucked out, not only do I have a place for veggies to bask in the sun but I have a ton of other space on our lot to plant, weed, weed some more and watch the garden grow.

To say that the flower beds were overgrown when we moved in is an understatement.  The vegetable garden however, was my gem in the yard that wasn’t as overgrown and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on.  Here’s where we started:

Here’s what I accomplished when planting time began last summer (looking a bit better right? That is just a couple of weeks of hard work around the yard!):

It was my mom that mentioned how ragged the old beds were and that it might be nice to have some new cedar beds.  She had recently built some of her own from a raised bed kit  at Sound Cedar and was really impressed with their product.  Once I took a closer look, I agreed that new vegetable beds would be nice!  Yikes those are ragged!

Thanks to a lovely birthday gift, I was ready to bolt together 2 new beautiful cedar raised veggie beds!  The process was really quite simple.  Sound Cedar sells the 4 planks of cedar and gives you the bolts to hold it together in their “kit.”  From there I just had to re-arrange the layout of the side-yard and get to moving dirt.

Step 1-Bolt the planks together…EASY!

Step 2: Place raised bed in new home.  The tricky part for me is that our side yard slant in various directions and I wanted the planks to be leveled on the short side and nearly level along the long planks.

I dug around the back of the garage and found old garden edging cement blocks to do the leveling trick!  Magic!

Step 3:  Once everything was in order, then I had to staple landscaping sheathing to all the sides to prevent grasses and weeds from coming through.

Step 4: Fill with dirt!  You can see the new and old side by side!

Step 5: Tear apart the other old bed and repeat steps 1-4!

Step 6: Tear out the other long, old planks, plant grass seed and get to fun planting this years crop!  Here’s where we are now!  I’d also like to mention that besides moving the beds once they were bolted together, I did all of this on my own, during nap time!  No male-ness required….except it was helpful when moving the beds in place for the first time but I’m pretty sure I could have done it considering I muscled it around quite a bit while I was getting them level.

I also shifted the raspberry bed and trellis over about a foot to allow for a walkway in between the 2 areas.  It makes it much easier to pick the berries which are now ripe!  Sadly we went through a brief cold spell (shocking, I know…Seattle really?  Summer in Seattle? Not to get distracted but weather people categorize summer as anything over 80 degrees.  Seattle has hit this target for 70 minutes….yes you read that right.  It’s the summer the won’t happen!) and I lost a few of my carrots and onions (that’s the bare area next to lettuce).  The spinach and radishes were also all out of sorts with the change in weather so they have gone to seed and I have a couple new rows to plant for the late summer, early fall.  The lettuce, peas, raspberries, broccoli, garlic and beans are all doing great!  Squash is doing so-so….as are my cucumbers.  Haven’t been successful with those the last 2 summers.

Thanks for watching my transformation!  I would highly encourage anyone thinking of getting some raised garden beds to DO IT! It’s easy, doesn’t take that much time to tend and the benefits are scrumptious!    Happy gardening!

“grow” image via Etsy

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