June 13. We planted the garden about three weeks ago. And mystery of all mysteries, life has sprouted.
I don’t know why that always strikes me. There’s something about seeds and water and dirt. It all seems so improbable. Then suddenly, green stems. Buds. Flowers. Vegetables.
If you’ve never planted a seed and watched it unfurl, you’re probably laughing. But if you have, you might know what I’m talking about it. Nature is magic when you let yourself get caught up in it.
Early risers in the garden include a mesclun lettuce, a baby butter lettuce, easter egg radishes, and all the squash plants. I think the green beans and sugar snap peas are doing well too. The plants still in question include rainbow swiss chard, spinach, and carrots. Oh, and potatoes. Mainly because I haven’t put them in the ground yet.
Tomatoes are rocking – we did 6 plants: heirloom yellow bells, two romas, heirloom brandywine, a supersweet 100 cherry, and one classic variety that I can’t remember the name of. I’m probably getting myself into some sort of salsa canning operation later.
Now if you remember, the goal was to be weeding less in this raised bed situation. So far, that’s fairly accurate. Having the fabric between the beds keeps big weeds to a minimum, but we do still find plenty of little volunteer starters in the vegetable rows. Luckily they are easy to pluck out, so I haven’t been frustrated too much by them. But just in case you’re thinking this is a weed free operation, it’s not.
Aesthetically, we are still working on the final plan for the garden. This week I finished doing the landscape fabric in the walkways. Most of this effort was accompanied by Ellis sticking her own landscape staples in the ground at various intervals. I’m sure that compromises the effectiveness of fabric, but that’s fine. Toddlers are ever curious, and ever copy cats.
Next step – pea gravel. If anyone has a good pea gravel hook up around the Twin Cities metro area, let me know.
Sigh. I just asked for a pea gravel hook up.
4 thoughts on “First review of raised bed gardening”
Rachel. I am following this experiment with great interest. Can you talk about how much watering you are doing and how that works with a raised bed?
Anna. Rock the interest. I have watered twice – the day of planting, and two days after. I haven’t aimed the hose that direction since. The vermiculite in the soil mixture retains moisture and keeps the soil hydrated. That and we’ve had plenty of rain, so the ground moisture is well balanced too. I will be interested to see how well the vermiculite works in July when it’s much hotter and dryer. I assume I’ll still have to do some watering, but hopefully not nearly as much. Oh, and no different than watering a regular garden, except that I possibly use less water because I’m focusing just on the beds instead of using the all-over sprinkler approach.
I’ve never heard of Easter Egg Radishes before. Maybe over here in the UK they are known by some other name. At the moment I just imagine them coming out of the ground covered in chocolate. Perhaps that’s the dirt on them making them look like that? What do they taste like?
Covered in chocolate – this sounds like a foodie gardener’s dream. If only! This is my first go on the Easter egg variety. I’ve heard they are spicier even though the package says they should be mild. Guess we’ll see!