After investing five years in building an organic garden at our old house, I was quite sad to leave it behind this summer. I am not in a season of life that will allow me to invest a great deal of time in building a new garden and starting over. Between homeschooling, making all of our food from scratch and trying to keep up with three musical kids each playing two instruments, my plate is very full. How ironic that we now have four times the land, but not much margin for gardening. I previously wrote briefly about choices and right now I must choose to focus on creative gardening efforts rather than building a large garden space.
This spring I build two new cedar, raised bed garden boxes. I added one to my garden at the old house, but hadn't yet filled the other when we made the decision to move. I brought the box over to the new house and with a little good soil, I have an instant garden. In my other space, the soil was double dug and amended, so the fact that the beds are only six inches tall was not an issue. My new instant garden is less than optimal because I simply laid down several cardboard moving boxes, set the cedar frame on top and filled it with dirt. Since I am filling it mainly with greens, hopefully the shallow depth will not be an issue and if I am lucky, the worms will get busy breaking up the cardboard and improving the soil below.
I "fenced" in the space to protect it from the cats, chickens and neighbors goat. Unfortunately, I did not take into account the army of grasshoppers that decided to feast on the first round of kale and lettuce that I planted. They ate every last bit, leaving only my hardy favorite, Swiss Chard. Hopefully round two will be more successful since I planted it mostly from seed instead of transplants-by the time the seedlings start growing, maybe the cooler temps will have reduced the grasshopper population slightly.
I planted kale, cilantro, beets, spinach and collard seeds. Additionally, I put in two Brussels spouts and two romaine transplants. I am also working on some plantings in my existing landscaping and using some pots on the back patio.
I grew my first ever beets this spring. I only planted a few and ended up with only one harvested, but it was delicious. I have space for three rows of beets and have planted the first one. I am trying my hand at succession planting so will put in row two next week. Below are the beet seeds. I am not sure why I find them so fascinating, but of anything I have planted from seed, I think these are just the coolest seeds ever! And beets that look like a bullseye, how cool is that!
And the gorgeous view of the sky off to the west: