Sunday, March 28, 2010

Planning for raised bed vegetables

Looking towards summer, I'm planning what will go in our new raised beds in the mountains.

They're yet to be built, but we've scouted out the right sort of stone, that will be easy (for me as well as my gardening companion) to stack, and we'll get to work next weekend.

Quite handsome large stone blocks, of hefty proportions, were available, and would have made seriously sturdy raised beds, but I could barely lift one stone (I think they weighed about 50 lbs. each), so I'm hardly going to be able to help build that sort of wall. I'm not gifted in the strong shoulders and arms department, but I have built a number of nice retaining walls and an excellent front path, so I do want to be part of this endeavor.

I spent some enjoyable time plotting out the beds -- basically they'll be four long beds, two horizontal and two perpendicular to the house, on what's currently unused 'driveway.'

It'll hopefully be fairly easy to lay out; there's gravel below the mulch on the 'driveway' -- so we'll dig down to prepare footings, put in a bit of builder's sand, and build the stone walls (at about 14 inches).

These beds will be devoted to summer vegetables and herbs: tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, and basil.

The main vegetable garden in the Piedmont will be fallow this summer to reduce root-knot nematodes there. And the satellite vegetable garden, after the garlic and onions are harvested, will be devoted to winter squash, and cool season vegetables in the fall.

I've also just ordered some tough asparagus crowns (all male UC 157) to put in, to join the 'from seed' plants that I grew last year. (They struggled through the tough winter, so I'm thinking they need some reinforcements!)

5 comments:

  1. I popped in from somewhere, but am looking forward to watching your garden grow! We have everything except the hot-weather stuff in the ground here.

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  2. What fun to have a place to garden while you enjoy the cooler mountain summer...You are talking serious raised beds with stones! I've been contemplating using straw bales as walls for a raised bed this summer! To see if I even have enough sun to grow anything. I can easily construct and deconstruct it. Although a stone walled bed will be forever and good looking!

    gail

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  3. Not sure if we will have a veggie garden this summer. Will at least do herbs in containers on the deck. I look forward to seeing what your garden brings.

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  4. I haven't even thought of what is going in the veggie garden this year. Yours sounds like it will yield a yummy harvest this year. And on a totally unrelated note: your house color is wonderful!

    Christine in Alaska

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  5. Jenny, it's only two week until warm-weather plants might go in, so I'm looking forward to that... and Gail, even in the mountains in summer, I so feel the need to be grounded by vegetable gardening that I'm needing to get in my raised beds SOON. Thank goodness my gardening companion is keen, too.

    And Janet, containers on the deck sound quite lovely.

    Christine, just think how fast and large your vegetables grow in those long days, but I can't imagine waiting until late May to plant things. We like the color of the house, too; a bit bright, but quite nice, especially with plants in front!

    Thanks to all of you for dropping by,
    Lisa

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