Garden Renovations: New Raised Bed

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Last year I had a goal of creating a garden in my backyard that would supply me with lots of fruit and veggies… But I didn’t really have any knowledge about any of it, and mother nature had other ideas for me…

My beans were destroyed by the deer… my strawberries and cherries were stolen by the raccoons, and some unseasonably warm temperatures in early spring made my radishes bolt (something I learned about last year), so I only got one or two of them before they turned all woody and weird…

But I also learned quite a bit.  I learned that it is really important to thin out both carrots and radishes if you want them to grow to full size…  And I learned that I need to get some sort of animal protection on my garden to keep the deer and raccoons out.

I had grand plans of planting more veggies in the fall and having winter crops, but my work schedule got in the way…  So that didn’t happen…

Anyway, this year I have new plans for the garden… I’ve made a list in my bullet journal of fruit and vegetables that I want to learn about, so hopefully I can grow them.  I want to learn to use the dehydrator that my grandmother gave me for Christmas.  And, while I haven’t made these official goals for 2016 like I did in 2015, I figure I’ll post about them and share my struggles and lessons…

But, before I planted anything, we had grand plans of updating the raised bed in the backyard.  It is now the end of May, and I haven’t planted anything… so it’s not likely that I will get much in the way of veggies this year, but I’m still going to try, and I want to share the renovations that we did to the raised bed.

We did this a few weekends ago, probably the first really nice weekend we had.  I totally forgot to take a before picture, but you can see my old garden from mid-season last year on my post about financial freedom and early retirement.

So the first step we did was to move the dirt out of the current garden.  Then we took down the boards of the old garden and measured out where we wanted the new garden to go.

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Since we were moving the garden out a bit from the hedge, we wanted to dig up the grass in a way that we could then put it down were the old garden was so hopefully we could fill it in without having to plant grass from seed… So that meant a lot of cutting, digging and heavy lifting…

Big Cat Supervising
Big Cat supervising the work…

Once all the grass was removed, we put down the base for our stones and started laying the stones out.  It was a bit of a puzzle because the stones are not straight bricks, and the corner pieces were a little different… But once we got the hang of it, it went together pretty well.

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The day was a super hot one, and I definitely got sunburned.  Unfortunately, that means that my photos aren’t the best, but you get the idea.  It also means that we had to take lots of water breaks…

Little Cat Supervising
Little Cat also took her turn supervising our work…

Once the stones were all laid, we sifted all the dirt before putting it back in the garden, but the new garden was slightly bigger, so we also went and got a bunch of compost to fill and to provide fresh nutrients to the garden.  Of course, that took a couple weeks, and so when I went to look for a good after picture, I didn’t have one… So I took one the other day, but it was raining and dull out… Oh well… Here it is, the finish product:

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So, next on my to-do list is to actually plant something in there…  And get some sort of animal protection to stop the deer, raccoons and rabbits from getting in…

Do you have a vegetable garden?  What have you planted this year?

 

 

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