Well, we finally finished the raised bed portion of the new veggie garden, which we have been calling phase 1. What a big undertaking it has been – like most of my landscaping projects it was more work and money than I planned on, but I am glad we stuck with it! The next phase is to put grape vines and raspberries in the other half of the field, where it is still that unrepaired from the ploughing.
Here is phase 1 of the project from start to finish:
A lonely little paddock dreams of being a garden.
The farmer ploughs the paddock.
We spend countless hours repairing the soil surface in preparation for building the beds.
We build and place each raised bed as we prepare a spot for it, and I plant my seeds in each as I get the soil prepared.
We place landscape fabric and bark chips on all the paths between the beds.
I start eating lettuce, spinach, radishes (a surprise bonus plant from a “spicy salad mix” of greens), chives, chard and the spicy salad mix of strange and definitely spicy greens.
Some plants go to seed so that I can save the seeds as part of the Seed To Seed Challenge hosted by One Green Generation.
Other plants are not identifiable yet – I don’t know if they are weeds or the seeds I planted! Next year I shall mulch any open spaces without seeds so that it is clear what is something that I have planted and what is something that grew by itself. I did notice that one common weed I could identify was covered in aphids while the veggies have none. I left lots of those weeds in the beds as free integrated pest management!
I have not watered any of the beds and don’t intend to – I want to see what is tough enough to succeed without coddling so next year I make my life easier and only plant those types.
I noticed that some boxes in general grew better than others and I think this was due to the timing of the seed planting. The very earliest and the very latest beds don’t have much happening at all, which I think was from rotting before they could sprout in the earliest sowings, and from being beat out by the competing weeds before they could really get going in the latest sowings. I will be planting ALL my seeds on the optimum days for that next year based on this year’s research.
All in all, phase 1 is a success! Phase 2 begins soon….