Tuesday, 9 August 2011
So here it is. Our first vegetable garden in over ten years. The plan for the raised bed is from the book The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. I would like to say it was easy to put together because I am not the one who put it together, but the project seemed to go quickly and without a hitch. Without a hitch except that it was a thousand degrees outside. The hard part was lugging all the topsoil and compost from the hardware store. It took two trips, and over forty bags to fill this thing. That was the hard part. Raised beds are a must for us because about four inches below our soil is a thick layer of shell. Oh yeah, I live in Florida.
This garden is already doing better than the one before, probably due to the fact that it is getting more sunlight and more water. Who knew?
Even though we knew that planting in the heat of summer might be a disaster, we went ahead and threw some starts in. Everything’s looking good, if not impressive, but pretty much everything has blossom drop due to too-high temperatures. The tomatoes set a few fruit, but we lost one to some kind of small worm. The peppers have been doing well, and the basil has been keeping us in pesto for the past few weeks.
I don’t want to jinx myself by saying that this garden has been really easy, but well, it has. While I know that it will take us probably a few years to build up really good soil, most of our plants are doing well, and the only plant I’ve lost so far was a marigold.
It’s just been pure pleasure watching this stuff grow. And I’ve learned a few things already. Like it’s important to put the cages on the tomatoes before they get too big. And don’t leave a full bale of mulching hay in a wagon where it can get full of water and then rot in a very stinky way. And when somethng is looking good and ripe–pick it and stick it in the fridge before it rots.
This gardening thing is seriously addictive. We have plans to build two more boxes like this one for the fall. It’s been so much fun poring over seed catalogs (even if it has been virtual instead of actual.) I’m looking forward to the day when my first seed catalog arrives in the mail. Perhaps then I will feel like a real gardener.