A few weeks ago, Savvy Gardening’s Tara Nolan launched her first book, Raised Bed Revolution, and for me, the timing was perfect. With photography for my next book scheduled for this spring/summer/fall, I had already decided to revamp my own vegetable garden. (If you missed my post with details on the new design and site prep, read about my ‘Big Dig’ here.) I knew I wanted raised beds and was able to adopt many of Tara’s ideas and suggestions into my brand new kitchen garden.
We did however, hit a snag. The lumber arrived, and just as we were ready to start building the raised beds, my husbands back gave out. For weeks. The poor guy was stuck on the couch and we therefore needed to go to plan B. We brought back the contractor who had prepped the site, and it took just two days for his team to build, arrange, and fill the raised beds. They also installed the new posts for our electric deer fence. We were over-budget, but back in business!
Gardening in my raised beds:
It’s been just over three weeks since construction was finished and I’ve been slowing planting up the twenty raised beds. Sweet peas were the first seeds to be planted – they’re my favourite flower and will offer us months of fragrant blooms. We then started sowing seeds for edible peas, as well as salad greens, and root crops. Plus, the hundreds of seedlings that I had started indoors under my grow lights were hardened off and plugged into the beds.
I’ve also been busy building vertical elements; four trellises, two A-frame trellises, cucumber trellises, three tunnels and 24 tomato stakes. To keep weeds down and boots clean, the pathways have been lined in cardboard and mulched with shredded bark.
Below, the same bed just three weeks later. Using my grow lights to start these seeds indoors gave me a huge six week head start on the growing season.
As for the structures, the two smaller tunnels will support six varieties of pole beans, while the widest tunnel will provide vertical space for various Asian and Indian cucumbers.
Have you made any updates or changes to your vegetable garden for the season?