I’ve been planning my garden since last winter. I got a gorgeous set of cedar raised beds at Lowe’s on end of season clearance. They were a little bit of a splurge, but decided that it was a worthwhile expenditure. The soil in our garden is pretty bad and the time and resources it would take to amend the soil would be significant. Plus, the best sun exposure in our yard is on the patio. I’ve also found that weeds are much easier to handle in the small spaces and don’t run amuck they way they do in the regular garden beds. So over the last three years I’m starting to fill my standard garden beds with flowering bushes, perennials and bulbs, while I concentrate on my raised beds for vegetables. This year I also have a healthy dose of weed-like groundcover, though not of my own planning. At least right now, said groundcover is blooming with little purple flowers. Soon it will just be annoying vines though. Due to the events of the past two months I have sadly behind schedule for my indoor seed starting, but I’m doing my best effort to catch up.
The unusually cold April in the Northeast has significantly set back my plans for a garden this year but I am endeavoring not to get discouraged. Last year I started my Square foot garden with a single 2X4 raised bed. The green beans were successful, but didn’t produce nearly as much as I’d hoped. Lesson learned, this year I’ll plant more. My peas didn’t start early enough to produce much of a crop and the corn never materialized at all. The carrots were also a complete failure. The squirrels stole my seed and dug up my transplants. My cucumbers produced pretty well and my tomatoes too. I also grew lettuce, but I bought transplants from the local garden center. I also bought broccoli transplants but unfortunately the squirrels dug them up.
This year I’m adding 6 trapezoidal beds equally about 36 square feet. The plan is to grow
broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, bush beans, peppers, winter squash, summer squash, tomato, cucumber, peas and strawberries.
I’ve already started my broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and peppers inside, but with mixed success. I also started tomatoes but since I’ve been really terrible at this in the past I have a friend starting tomato plants for me as well. Last night I was lucky enough to be gifted some tomato and pepper plants by a member of my writers group as well. Hurray, one less thing for me to mess up! (Of course that assumes I don’t kill these lovely transplants between now and planting time.) My peas should have already been started but I’ve been having trouble getting my beds prepped because of all of the recent rain. Last weekend I planted my strawberries and the squirrels promptly tried to dig them up, in spite of the bird net. I finally got my peas planted this week and used some bent coat hangers to let the bird net hover above the raised bed more. It seems to be working.
I still have to assemble another raised bed (i.e. ask my husband to help me assemble,) and fill it with soil so I can get my lettuce and broccoli transplants in the ground before the hot weather sneaks up and zaps them.
If the pleasant weather holds, I’m hoping to have the garden up and running for the year in the next two weeks. I’m still trying to decide if I dare to try and add blueberries. Perhaps next year.