New Vegetable Garden

Last week, I converted a lawn in my side yard into a vegetable garden.  The garden includes two raised beds made of 12” x 2” untreated redwood.  One bed is 6’ x 7’, and the second bed is 8’ x 6’.  I decided not to make the beds wider than 6’ so that it would be easy to reach the plants without walking in the garden.  The wood is secured into the ground with 4” stakes in each corner that are embedded in cement like fence posts.

Each garden bed is surrounded by 2’- 2.5’ wide gravel paths that have weed block underneath to make the plants more easily accessible. 

Each bed has four soaker hoses that are set on a timer to water daily.  Each of the eight soaker hoses has a red shut off valve.  Each shut off valve can be turned on or off to supply water to the soaker hose.  In the wintertime, I may decide to grow plants in only a portion of the garden.  So I added the shut off valves to have the flexibility to water only the portion of the garden that has plants. 

I haven’t had a vegetable garden since I was a child.  Back then, my parents filled in an old sandbox with dirt, and we started growing vegetables.  My sister and I had a lot of fun each summer taking care of the plants and watching them grow.  We had fun watching the plants grow quickly and produce fruit within only a few months in the warm spring and summer weather.

Last week, my mom and I planted a variety of warm weather vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  We planted a six pack of corn, 3 tomatoes, 5 peppers, 3 eggplant, 6 basil, 3 groups of cilantro, a six pack of onions, one set of zucchinis, and one set of cantaloupes.  Because I am getting the garden started relatively late, I bought mostly larger seedlings to give them a head start.  After planting, I gave them a thorough watering and shot of water soluble fertilizer. 

The next day I put adhesive copper tape around the wooden perimeter of each of the raised beds.  The copper tape helps to keep the snails and slugs out of the garden.  They don’t seem to cross the copper tape.  I have had a lot of luck using copper tape to keep snails out of my strawberry pots.  It’s a great organic way to deal with snails without having to use pesticide near edible produce.

July 13 2008 08:49 pm | Fruit and Vegetables