We put in our veggie garden the summer after we moved into this place. It was serviceable - especially for 2 people coming from an apartment. Two 4' x 4' boxes seemed like tons of space for us. Wow - we were so wrong! For years we've been dealing with overcrowded tomatoes, shadowed peppers, and not enough space to plant lettuce. So this year, I told the old boy that we needed to expand and Mother's Day weekend was the perfect time. Here's what we started with (before spring cleaning):
First off we planned our attack. My initial hopes were to expand enormously. To create a little farm with rows upon rows of delicious fresh produce. But common sense intervened and instead we decided to merely double our garden. The plan was to move one square closer to the garage and to enclose the space between the 2 squares as our new space. Easy peasy right? Well sort of. It wasn't "hard" so much as it was laborious.
Day One (Saturday) began with a walk through and some serious digging on Jason's part. Aside from our two sweet veggie patches, our back yard had once been home to some weird fence. The weird fence was gone, but alas the concrete footers remained. In addition, our back yard also once had some weird scrub tree. Last year I hired a local landscaper to come in and cut it out, which was awesome but there was this pesky stump leftover. So Jason dug out two enormous concrete footers and one pesky stump. He's awesome and manly when he does stuff like this. I baked him brownies as a "thank you". This was also the day where I started digging up the grass between the two beds.
Day Two (Sunday) began with some Mother's Day awesomeness. I got to loll around in bed for a bit. Jason and the kids brought me my everything bagel and cream cheese and some cards. It was nice. Once I did get up, it was time to rock and roll. I sent Jason out front to play with the little guys while I went to town on the remaining dirt in the garden. This took way too long. I'm not a landscape superstar, but it did get done.
Next up was moving the square toward the garage. The box was just sunk in the ground and held in place with dirt, so freeing it up was as easy as digging.
The sides of the new rectangle (between the 2 boxes) are made of the same pressure-treated 2x10s that we had built the boxes from before. Jason trimmed the board to the precise length with a skill saw.
It was a little tricky to get the different components lined up & level, but with some digging and adjusting, we got things working well. He attached everything together with some 2 1/2 inch deck screws.
I always like to till in a little new soil each year - maybe some day we'll have our own compost to add, but this year we went with a yard of peat moss and some garden soil. The peat helps lighten up the soil and the garden soil has fresh nutrients for the plants. It's not a required step, but I think it helps.
Turning this stuff in only took about 20 minutes with a shovel and I used a rake to smooth it out. Then it was time for planting!
We have hills of watermelons on the left.
Then in the center we have 4 tomato plants across the back, 4 hills of cucumbers in the middle and a row of lettuce in the front.
So there it is - my Mother's Day! What a weekend - so satisfying!