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I’ve talked about my penchant for pickling in the past (here and here), so it’s natural for me to talk about gardening, particularly this time of year. The amount of weeding I’ve done over the last two years was not only getting old, but was taking some of the joy out of the experience. A recent redesign of part of our backyard led to making a dream a reality: a giant, raised garden for the vegetable and fruit growing experience I’ve been waiting for!

Sweet hub drew up plans, we set aside a Saturday, and 6 hours, $200, and 16 bags of 3 cubic feet of soil later, we are in business!

Remember – measure twice (or three time), because you can only cut once! After drilling drainage holes, I lined the entire bed with burlap. We used untreated wood for the parts of the box that would touch the soil – and I stained the outside with water sealant. The legs, branch support, and hidden supports were all found wood.

I sketched a planting grid based on mature plant needs, and while I did sandwich things in a bit tighter than specs would allow, I have read that you can fudge on spacing in raised beds. In fact, I’ve heard a lot about “lasagna gardening”, where you layer seeds at different depths, based on timing of growth, and have a constantly producing bed. I’m not quite there yet, but I am pleased with the number of things we got into this 12’x30″ space! Marigolds are supposed to help with pest control – and they lend a nice bit of color while things are getting started!

I planted: cucumbers, Boston pickling cucumbers, Celebrity tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, orange bell pepper, green bell pepper, okra, asparagus, 1015 sweet yellow onions, green onions, carrots (seed), spinach (seed), and strawberries. I kept my herbs in pots: thyme, Italian oregano, sweet basil, and cilantro. I have several large rosemary bushes, so they stay where they are.

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Our water trough is still earning it’s keep, ensuring these little plants are happy and moist! (The rain is really helping, too….)

I’ll share the plans on Wednesday, and will keep you posted on how my garden grows. Keep an eye on our insta, too!

~Lainey