Saturday, July 21, 2012

My new bed!

After weeks of brutal heat that prevented my getting into the garden, yesterday (a work day) and today brought mid-80s and clear skies.  Time to build another new bed in the vegetable garden!  You can see it framed out in the distance above.  On the right are the three beds I did already this year.  No surprise that the crucifers in the closest bed are really ailing -- cabbage and broccoli do not care for heat!  But the peppers in the middle bed are flourishing, and my tomatoes plants are covered with green fruit, keeping me very hopeful.

But back to the new bed.  This is part of my "raise the raised beds" project.  A few years ago I put in 2x6 frames, but they proved to be inadequate when the spring rains came, allowing the beds to wick up ground water and stay saturated, rather than draining.  This year I'm adding a second level of 2x6 frame to bring the soil up higher.

I'm so glad I thought to cover the huge pile of dirt on my driveway.  Despite the two inch rainfall we got a few days ago, the dirt pile stayed dry and therefore MUCH less heavy!

It takes about three dump carts full of dirt to fill the bed.  The first cart is easy to load and empty.  The last one, not so much.

Once it was filled and smoothed, it was time to decide what to plant.  I have absolutely no planting plan for this season, since I had no idea how long it would take to redo the beds.

In clearing the weeds out of the frame before I raised it, I discovered a single strawberry plant that somehow survived to this point.  I set it aside as my "inspiration piece."  And sure enough, what did I find at the garden center?

Strawberries!  These are everbearing, meaning they make a crop in June and continue to have scattered berries through the rest of the season.  It didn't take very long to go from this

 to this!

I put in 15 plants, plus I buried some of the babies on the runners.  Technically you're supposed to cut those off so the mama plants can get established, but these seemed so healthy and I hate to discard healthy plants!

The trick will be keeping them watered for the rest of the summer, but next June the reward will be sweet and juicy!




1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

good luck with the bed....i told my hubby what i wanted to do with our small garden....

he just rolled his eyes

i think i plucked a thousand volunteer morning glories yesterday