Grow Your Own: The Garden is a Reality!

June 2nd, 2008

The garden has been built, planted and is now growing. Some might say that since no posts have come forth that those facts prove that I am behind in my posting. Those people would be correct.

The garden is a single 4′ x 8′ raised bed. For it’s construction I bought two 12 foot 2×12’s and cut 4 feet off of the end of each. A attached them with an internal bracket and a top bracket. It took only a few minutes to put together but think ahead as to which screws you will use. Make sure they are the right size for both the bracket and the depth of the wood.

From there I moved it around the yard a few times. The sun is a fickle beast. Oddly enough.. I ended up putting where I originally had planned to. Trust your insticts…. especially if you have been watching the sun for two weeks…

Ok, so the box is in place but empty and I needed some dirt. We are fortunate to have a place down the road a ways that sells dirt by the shovel full. I should have brough a snow shovel with me but I played it honest and used a normal dirt shovel. My father and I put a tarp in the back of the can and proceeded to load down the van until we were sure one more scoop would mean death on the way home. It was pretty tough to steer. In all we did $8 worth of loam and $1 of sand which I also added 80lbs of manure to. The dirt and sand were added in and mixed and then I added in the manure and mixed that in as well.. with a good metal rake.

Then the seed planting began. I actually did it on Memorial day and it took less then 15 minutes. The garden is in mostly shade until mid-morning so I planted and watered it before breakfast. I was pretty haphazard about it really, still groggy from sleep. I planted the two butternut sqaush plants next to each other and then planted for two muskmelon plants (typically called cantaloupe here in the US), this made one row. I then did a row of beets, a row of carrots and then 6 or 8 Corn plants each surrounded by either green beans or sugar snap peas. Corn can’t be planted in one row, it has to be done in at least two for pollination. The rows are straight.. but not necessarily parallel to anything else.

I watered the garden whenever it looked dry. I always watered in the AM but on an especially sunny day I would also water in the evening as well. From my reading it seemed like during the germination period keeping the soil moist was very important so the garden got either 2 gallons or 4 gallons per day. Going forward the general rule of thumb seems to be 1 inch of water per week.

Now, six days later, basically everything has come up. I am waiting to see a bit more fullness across the board but of everything I planted at least one plant came up. Core has been growing gang busters to far and I’m beginning to see a lot carrots. The beets are a little slower as are the beans and peas but slowest of all seems to be the muskmelon. Only one plant thus far. The butternut was planted as a plant and has at least doubled in size since planting. At this point everything is looking pretty good.

My goal is to have the beans and peas climb up the corn stocks… we’ll see if that happens. If not I’ll just setup some lattice for them to grow up. I’m also wondering if I should think about supporting the corn stocks to protect them if we get a wind storm. We’ll take those issues one day at a time. A 2″ corn stock is not yet a concern.

Pictures of the growth so far:

Topslakr

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