Hi friends, how is it already Thursday?? This week is flying by.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a full garden update on the blog. This was our first year planting vegetables from seeds and using raised garden beds. To be honest, Ben and I weren’t super confident in our new gardening plans. It was a risky decision to switch from planter boxes to raised beds, but holy moly it looks like we’ll have a successful garden season! Let’s dive into our garden design and some benefits of raised garden beds, shall we?
We put a lot of thought behind our garden design this year. Our main goal was to make it functional. Ben drew a rough picture of the garden design layout, which included exactly where we wanted to plant each item. Veggies on the menu this year included arugula, kale, butter lettuce, sweet corn, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, poblano peppers, banana peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatillos, onions, watermelon, pumpkin, cantaloupe, rhubarb, and asparagus. I have a feeling that I forgot a few things, but you get the idea 😉
Ben and I tend to get a bit overzealous while planting. To avoid cramming veggies too close together, we increased the space of the garden to approximately 600 sq. ft. You can never have too much garden, right?
We really hate to weed (who seriously likes to weed the garden anyway?), so Ben placed cardboard directly over the grass as a weed barrier. Next, Ben spread dirt for raised beds out of organic compost and garden soil to form the new garden rows. We wrapped each raised bed in a weed barrier fabric to further prevent weeds. Lastly, Ben created walking paths out of organic mulch in between the rows to allow ease of access and deter weeds.
Below are some photos of what the garden design looked like during the building process.
And here’s the garden today – garden EXPLOSION!
Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
- Easier for weed control – this was our primary motivation!
- Good for drainage, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain
- You can tight fit the veggies while still having easy access with walking paths
Patience is Not my Virtue
I’m probably the most impatient person ever. Once I get excited about something, I want it now. I’m sure my husband loves that quality in me haha. Anyways, we’re in this awkward “in between” garden stage and it’s brutal. All of our veggies are almost ready but still not quite there. I have a feeling that everything will be ready to harvest at the same time, and it’s going to be the most exciting day ever.
Luckily we’ve been able to harvest arugula and kale on a regular basis, but I have an irrational fear that we’re going to run out of arugula and I’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy the spicy goodness again. I ask Ben multiple times per week if we can plant more arugula once we run out. Although he gives me the same answer every time (yes Colleen, we can plant more), I still feel the need to keep asking.
As a side note, I fully recognize that my excitement about the garden is a bit weird, but the decision to start a homestead was pretty weird too, so…
Planter boxes were great, but I think our raised garden beds are here to stay. We’ll definitely make some gardens design adjustments next year, but that’s the fun part. We’re still figuring out the best way to make this homestead life fit within our family – we’ll be sure to share what we learn along the way!
I’m off to another OB appointment tomorrow (almost 38 weeks – what?!).
Looking for some more gardening inspiration? I recently did a guest post on Maple Alps. Check it out & read my beginners guide to gardening!
Garden Design & Benefits of Raised Garden Beds: Questions
What does your garden design look like this year? Any benefits of raised garden beds that you’ve experienced?