There's 2 kinds of wood available to build these raised beds: cedar, which is beautiful and rot resistant, and not-cedar, which is affordable for a normal person. I bought the lumber yesterday and it was delivered this morning, and with a couple of hours I was able to get most of the first bed done. Tomorrow I'll add some wire mesh inside the box to keep out gophers ["License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations..."]. I didn't buy enough 2x4 to finish the mitered cap around the bed, which will be good for sitting and sipping lemonade while contemplating the bare patch of dirt that was intended to yield some crop.

  • My lovely wife took Caleb for a long walk so I could work uninterrupted on this sucker. xo
  • Surprisingly gratifying garden task: raking soil level. Oh baby.
  • Note to self: buy more ibuprofen.

Frame leveled and secured to 4x4 posts.
Almost there. Essbee loping over to look for edibles.
Spider with ability to become 1/10th its original size when picture is taken.
Next up: finish the cap around the bed, add mesh, figure out volume of soil and compost needed to fill


And it begins...

Yesterday I drove up to Westford to pick up a wheelbarrow from a dude for $10 bucks. He had some good hand tools he threw in for a few more. I wanted to get moving on building the raised beds. Oh yeah — raised beds! Why?

1) I'm planting two beds and they are both on a slope;
2) I'm planting over a french drain that I can't dig up;
3) I like the idea of more control over the soil content and drainage;
4) Harder for the dogs to piss in.

So there's going to be two of them. One will be between the deck and patio for the most sun-loving of the crop. The other is butted against the deck lattice (for peas to climb) and wraps around the corner of the house for a few more feet of space.

This morning I started digging to make channels for the timber. The soil is surprisingly loamy feeling once I removed the rocks, enough to fill the wheelbarrow. There was such a dense layer beneath the topsoil that I assume it was pushed-aside detritus from some major landscaping in the past or the house's construction in the 30's. Incidentally, if you'd like to buy some rocks. I have lots.
Here's a shot of the dug out and sifted-through footprint of the bed. 
I'm including a shot of Caleb because's he crazy cute right now.

Next up: building the first raised bed

Let's Get Ready to Bumble!

The unexpected appearance of May here in New England March has me setting out to plant my first vegetable garden. The weather has been so nice and my excitement such that I'm not even going to waste time giving a back story. I want home-grown salad and I want it now. Plants grow faster if you scream at them, right?

While I introduce the project, let's hold our tongues and assume I'm well aware of the potential disappointment lurking in a rookie's garden. Here's what I'm working with: my backyard has a sloping hillside across its width and is predominantly partial shade. There's a pretty sweet spot between our small deck and the lower lying patio that gets good (though not full) sun.

I'm going to plant lettuce (a few varieties), kale, chard, zukes, carrots, potatoes, cherry and slicing tomatoes, snap peas, some peppers, and a stacked crop of herbs. The over/under on how many full salads I get from this garden by the end of the summer...3....maybe 5? We'll see. The Feedbag will certainly benefit from documenting a new project, and I'm hoping I'll get some choice advice from you dear readers.

Next up: layout