Lettuce and radishes
This is an update to the gardening post from June. On Mother’s Day, our daughter Danielle, and I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, and flowers. Mark returned from his TDY in late May and we talked about expanding the garden using a raised bed system. However, before we sunk any money or time into building a raised bed system, we wanted to experiment on a smaller scale. So Mark dug out a rolling work cart that he built years ago, painted the wood so that it would hold up in the rain and attached two plastic tubs (with holes drilled for drainage), that we found in our storage room. We figured if it worked like we hoped, then great. If it didn’t work like we hoped, then we wouldn’t have spent much money on the experiment.
Our starter bed-June 2015
For those not familiar with raised bed gardening; raised beds are beneficial for areas with poor soil (ours is clay and rock), it is easier on your back, legs, etc. because there is no stooping, kneeling or bending, the beds require less water, are more resistant to animals (ours are high, the bunnies won’t be eating our lettuce), are not prone to growing weeds, and have a higher yield of produce.
Our starter bed- August 2015
We have been eating salads from our garden (lettuce, radishes, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and some carrots) almost all summer long and were pretty juiced by the idea of growing all our own veggies. Since our two tubs did so well in spite of our lack of gardening knowledge (we did not use proper spacing) we decided to build a bed and try it out this summer. Mark found the plans online at Raised Urban Gardens.
Danielle came home to celebrate Father’s Day and they built the first raised bed together (then they drank some beer).
Heavy concentration is required when pouring a black and tan
Mark and his tomatoes -July 2015
That bed did so well that we decided if one bed was good, then four beds would be great. So I did the research and looked into heirloom seeds and garden planning. We ordered our seeds, I spent two weeks just reading and learning about square foot garden (SFG) planning, succession planting, crop rotation, and figuring out what we could still plant this late in the season.
Hauling the potting soil
Filling the beds
Ready for seeds
Chicken wire square foot template
Danielle on clean-up duty
Once again Danielle came home to help her Dad “work the family farm”, as she referred to it, they built three more raised beds and sowed all the seeds for the late summer/fall crops (spinach, lettuce, radishes, Swiss chard, carrots, Chinese cabbage, green onions, and garlic).
Farmer Mark sowing the seeds
Work is done so now we can goof around
Jasper is enjoying the sunshine
Mika is searching for the shade
Our next step is to plan the Spring and Summer 2016 beds, which means starting the seeds indoors this winter…oh yeah, and Mark and Danielle plan on building two more garden beds. Our patio will be nearly filled with garden beds at that point. Years ago, when Mark and his Dad built our deck (with assistance from our son Bobby) my Mother-in-law told me that we would love our deck so much that we would probably never use the patio again. Outside of a few parties, she was right. I’m so glad that the patio now has a use again. Enjoy!
The Levesque men building the deck- 2010
The patio being put to good use
Mark and Danielle picking a little dinner