Thursday, March 31, 2011

Raised Beds . . . HOORAY!

This narrow bed in the backyard will leave the kids' playspace intact but allow for peas, beans, or other taller crops.
I am overwhelmingly, ridiculously, in fact, pleased to announce that I have installed raised beds.  Not single-handedly--let credit be given where credit is due!  

Groupon (online local business specials) had a $50 gift card on sale to Primex (garden supply store) for $25.  I told Owen we should buy it and he naively said, "Well, we wouldn't be able to spend $50."  I assured him that we most certainly could, since I wanted to buy edgers and install raised beds (what can I say, everyone else is doing it!).  So Groupon in hand, Owen's parents (who were visiting, and who wonderfully drove their pick-up in order to support their crazy Yankee daughter-in-law's gardening mania) assisting with the three kids in tow, Owen and I set about collecting for our garden needs.

I must confess to a rush that addictive shoppers must experience when I walked in there.  I felt, "Ooo, I must have all of this.  And then I will be a Gardener with Accessories and Bountiful Harvest!!"  I did not buy it all, but I did manage to spend three times the amount of the Groupon.  Gloves that fit like a second skin, hoses that do not leech phthalates into the water, edgers, onion sets, complimentary pansies, seedling trays!  Ah, bliss!  

Our free pansies, next to our new raised bed in front of our porch.
 Our next stop was compost collection.  Thank you, Rachel, for directing us to some!  We took Owen's parents' pick-up and loaded up (two trips) on enough compost to fill raised beds in the front and back of my house.  Now if we could just make one more trip . . .

My transplants aren't looking so good, but I added seeds also--and some of them should make it, especially with rain all next week.
Owen's dad helped me wrestle the edging into the ground (after watching me fight with the roll of it in a comical, cartoon-like fashion as it coiled up after me around the yard), and then I stayed outside until night fell.  The next morning, dressed in my snowpants against the 30 degree weather, I finished spreading all of the compost in time for Owen and I to go get our second load.  My seedlings are worse for the wear, but will no doubt be happier in their new raised quarters.

With the raised beds ready, planting was a snap this week.  

I planted all of my early spring crops (shell peas were February):
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • pieracicaba non-heading broccoli (rabe)
  • snow peas
  • pac choi
  • mesclun mix
  • tatsoi
  • onion sets
  • cilantro
  • three varieties of head lettuce
  • parsley
  • raddichio
Strawberries have multiplied beyond my wildest dreams in my side garden.
I planted seeds, pruned my raspberries, wrote down all of my plantings and seed types in my gardening book (and drew in where I placed each variety on a garden map).  Now I just need to start my tomato, zucchini, and cucumber seeds indoors . . . and then I'll get to take a rest, which, quite frankly, I need.

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