The weather has finally turned around here, and so we’re getting geared up and ready for our garden this summer! My wonderful hubs has been hard, hard at work making boxes for our raised bed garden. Here’s how it looks today:
We have 10 boxes/beds along the front and side of our house. This is the west side of our home, so I am hoping that the beds on the side will receive enough sun. Our house is south facing, so I know the beds in the front will get more than enough, and that’s one reason why we chose to do our garden on the front/side of the house, because our backyard is north facing and pretty much shaded by a large maple tree.
My hubs got all of the wood reclaimed and free, so the only expense was hardware, and $8 for two truck beds full of compost to fill the boxes with.
This is the largest box in the front, and I’m not quite sure what to plant in it yet. I’m thinking definitely tomatoes and maybe zucchini, but I don’t want either of them to shade the other out – they both get so big.
I have more than enough space in all the beds to grow everything that I want to grow, but it’s just going to be a matter of figuring out what to plant where.
I got some strawberry plants last week from a local green house, and am so excited to grow strawberries. The only thing that I’m unsure of is whether I should snip off the flowers/fruits this year or not. I have read that you should pluck off the flowers the first year and not let them go to fruit so the plants can just grow strong and hearty, but the man at the greenhouse said that I don’t have to do that. Anyone out there grow strawberries, and have any advice for me?
The plan for this week is plant sugar snap peas and lettuce, spinach and swiss chard seeds (I’m not sure if I’m too late for the lettuces, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right?) Hubs is also working on building me a trellis for the peas.
Later we’ll be planting zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, some herbs – basil, cilantro and oregano, and butternut squash for the fall. And maybe some more stuff that I haven’t decided on yet.
The beds are in close proximity to our rain barrel, so that will make watering easier. Hubs is going to try to work on the barrel so that we will actually get some pressure through a hose for watering. We’ll see how that goes.
We laid cardboard down on the ground before dumping the compost to help discourage weed growth. And then we’ll mulch in between the beds as paths to walk on. It is going to be sad to cover up all of these pretty violets, but they’ve pretty much taken over our grass back here!
We’re also planning to plant raspberries along the house back here to have our own little raspberry patch!
We’ve also been working hard on our front rock wall beds. If you don’t remember, here’s what they looked like before, and here’s how they look now:
We transplanted a lot of stuff from our other beds that we dug out for the path and the garden, added a few plants and flowers from the farmer’s market, and we have some more Lillies that we started inside, and flower seeds to plant too. It’s starting to come together, but we still have lots to do to get the whole yard looking good.
I’m trying to convince Jer that we should plant some type of ground cover that can be walked on, but that doesn’t really need to be watered very much or mowed, instead of planting more grass in the actual yard. The last two summers our lawn has completely died because we don’t water it regularly enough and it just gets scorched by the southern facing sun. But I don’t really know of anything that would fulfill that criteria. Anyone have any ideas for a ground cover for me so I can present it to my hubs?
Overall, I’m really happy with the look of our new front yard, and excited about the space I have for gardening. Jer has done such a great job working on all this, both building the rock walls last fall, and now building the garden boxes and getting compost and mulch and even helping me plant!
I’m excited to share our garden with you as it continues to grow! I’d love it if you shared pictures of your gardens on my Facebook page!
How is your garden growing? What are your favorite veggies or fruits to grow?
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Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal says
Emily, I’ve got first year strawberries as well that I plan to pinch the blooms off. It will kill me I assure you, but that is what the planting guides say to do! It is also killing me that they advise that I not pick my rhubarb for a year. Again, kills me to know I’m trying to grow it – and I’ll still have to pay for it this year! Sigh.
your gardens look great! and i love your front yard landscaping. i can’t wait to get started working on our yard too… my favorite thing to plant in my garden is tomatoes. you can do so much with them! they are yummy on their own but also in salsa and tomato sauce. we won’t be planting too much this year since our yard isn’t in yet, but we will be planting tomato’s! my second favorite is basil. i LOVE pesto! 🙂
Great work on the hard-scape! I have been slowly chipping away at my yard and adding my beds with edible landscaping in them. My favorites are strawberries and blueberries. There are certain strawberries that naturalize and spread slowly. I love that in my landscape. And blueberry bushes are really pretty in the fall.
I’ve been thinking about replacing part of my front yard with some sort of ground cover. Have you looked at the Stepables website? They have plants listed by water needs and sun exposure. It might be helpful on your quest for the perfect ground cover.
Kate from Kinda Crunchy Kate blog says
It looks great! Well done on the boxes, too! I always love when people make something totally useful for almost free. Can’t wait to see how you plant the boxes. If you haven’t already, you should try growveg.com–makes it super easy to plan and you can plan for square foot gardening too.
The boxes look great! You definitely don’t want the tomatoes to shade the zucchini too much–mine did last year and I got about 4 zucchini. And I have no idea on the strawberries. I’d probably pinch off some of them and let some of them grow, but don’t take my word for it 🙂 Can’t wait to see more pics later on!