Last year I got my feet wet with two raised beds, this year I'm expanding to eight beds! I may add four more later, since we still have a lot of dirt left from the truckload full that we got delivered because it's cheaper to purchase dirt that way. Not quite sure yet. . . My compost was not quite ready to add to the dirt to amend the soil, so I'm going to have to add commercial fertilizers this year. Hopefully, they will be ready by fall so I can mix it in before the fall planting. I'm fortunate to live in an area where the winters are relatively mild and can grow some crops even in the dead of winter.
It's been a lot of work just getting the beds ready. I had to drill 22 holes in each of the beds in order to hammer in big, fat nails to keep the beds in one piece. It was a lot of work, to put it mildly. It made me all sore the next day in places I never imagined I had muscles! The beds are all planted now except for one bed. We also might plant some corn in the area of the yard around the front of the photo. That is, if we can get our hands on a tiller somehow. Digging up the grass by hand will be too much work for me since the weather's already turning rather warm.
Hopefully, we will have tomatoes, onions, beets, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow summer squash, spring onions, radishes, peas, snap peas, beans, kohlrabi, watermelon, eggplant, lettuces and bitter melon. Bitter melon is a Chinese vegetable that looks like a wrinkly, deformed cucumber that is very, very bitter. It's one of those things that you either love or hate, with nothing in between. I love it. The rest of the family doesn't. But, since I'm the one tending the garden, I'm going to grow it again. It is costly to make a trip to the Chinese grocery just to buy the stuff. It did very well last year, enough to put away the sliced surplus in the freezer. I am just now eating the last of last year's bounty. Apparently it does well in the US because it has no native pests that will attack it.
I still need to plant some cucumbers and perhaps some potatoes and eggplant in the last remaining bed. It will be interesting to figure out what does well and what doesn't. I wish I had discovered the joy of vegetable gardening earlier, but that's life. Not only will it allow me to save a ton of money on produce once the beds start producing, It is really quite fun to watch the plants grow, sometimes even under your nose when you have not been paying attention.
Will post more photos when the seeds start to sprout!
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