For the first time ever Hoe and Shovel is getting ready to plant a vegetable garden! Woo-hoo! For years – REALLY --years —I have dreamed of having a vegetable garden. My grandfather had a wonderful garden when I was growing up and that is where I got my first taste of home-grown, hand-picked, from-ground-to-stove-top yummyness. In the 24 years we have lived in this house I talked/dreamed of planting a veggie garden. For many reasons, some good – some understandable – some not so good—I’ve never done it.
My framed beds are made. I’m not handy with a saw (neither is hubby - but for the record- he's good at so many other things) so I hired someone to make them. I designed them – the handyman put them together. I’m starting small (baby steps) with (2) 4x8 beds just to see how I fare with this adventure and there's room “to grow” – hee-hee. That's why I tucked them in the corner.
He cleared the sod out first.
Then he got busy making the frames.
We used 2 x 6 cedar boards stacked on top of 2x4 cedar boards (turning them opposite at each end) and screwed (not nailed) together at the corners. This gives me a good 8-10” of height for each bed. I was really happy with the way they turned out.
I placed them in a section of my side yard that is fenced - the fence is laden with confederate jasmine which will bloom its deliciously scented white flowers in the spring. The gate just beyond the beds leads out to my backyard.
The fence was put in years ago when we had a dog. It isn't the prettiest fence or area of the garden but such potential awaits.
I contemplated putting mulch around the perimeter of the beds but in the rest of my garden I use leaves and grass clippings for mulch- not cypress. So that wasn't a great option for me. I thought about putting stepping stones around it but naaaaa... that didn't really do anything for me.
I decided on these crushed limestone rocks. It is a bit stark looking right now. Limestone rocks like these are used a lot in this area for xeriscaping. The advantage will be that the rocks will compact over time and weeds won't readily seed in it- it is 3 inches thick. I'm also thinking long term the rocks won't have to be replaced like mulch would.
But for the record, I'm not loving it yet... I think because it is so barren and cold looking. Once plants and flowers are growing I will make a more fair assessment.
I mixed blood meal and bone meal with the top layer of dirt for an organic fertilizer.
Wow, they look so small at a distance in this photo. As the photo indicates I have room for more just in case I decide I want to start a "market garden". :-)
We got a really good soaking rain to help the "beautiful" 3 yards of dirt I had delivered and had just transferred to the beds. I will let it all sit for a couple of weeks to get settled and "fixed" before I plant anything. I used part of the dirt in some other places in my yard to amend some existing beds. I'm crazy for dirt. The smell of it, the feel of it, the look of it... just makes you want to grow something pretty.
Now let's see ....what will I be growing? I've ordered seeds for tomatos, beans, squash, cucumber, leeks and zucchini. They should be arriving any day. Somehow I forgot carrots - I will need to remedy that situation.
Oh yes, and Zinnias. My first ever Zinnia seeds. I think Zinnias will add just the color I'll need to brighten up this corner garden. I should add a place to sit there too, don't you think?
Now for the real truth. I have no idea what I'm doing.
Some say start my seed in a tray, some say go ahead and put it in the ground and then thin out the plants. I'm going to keep reading and researching to get a good plan. I may break down and buy some plants since I might have waited a bit late to plant seeds. I'm just really happy I'm on my way to 'something' and I'll learn to do this just like I've learned to garden... through lots of trial and error.
Any suggestions or tips are very welcome.
Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.