Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Done with construction

Finally finished the major construction projects over the weekend. I'm very happy with how things turned out. Really feels like a garden now. The only thing left is to put a latch on the gate.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nearly finished

After a few more arduous days of work, I'm nearly finished with the construction of the new garden. Filled all the boxes, strung the grids, erected the trellises, layered wood chips between the boxes, and put up the fence. I still need to build a gate, but I'll save that for tomorrow.

Started my peppers a few days ago and will start my broccoli and cauliflower seeds tonight.

All in all, a pretty good couple weeks of work and things are really starting to come together.

Some may remember that I used $0.50 PVC elbows on my EMT trellises rather than the "proper" $5.00 ones. Well, after one season, they are holding up well. A couple popped off while moving them into storage, but they hammered back on without a problem and are holding well.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Filling boxes

I was able to partially fill the last four boxes on Sunday. Still have a little ways to go, but should be able to finish next weekend.

Also strung my grid strings on 2 of the new boxes and planted 4 squares of yellow onions. My parsley seedlings in the basement are beginning to germinate as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Spent several miserable hours in the cold, pouring rain this morning leveling and positioning the last boxes. Also started to fill them, but the weather began getting the better of me. I'm about 1/4 of the way done filling them. Probably need to make another run for manure/humus/compost to fill them. Hopefully the rain will let up a bit tomorrow so I can finish. I would have taken a picture but it was raining and blowing too hard. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gathering supplies

Picked up some more bagged manure and made a run to my vermiculite supplier and bought 4 bags. Just need another load of manure and some peat and I'm ready to mix my soil.

Leveled three of my four new boxes. It was a bit of a pain, and they're not perfect, but it should do. I'm sure they'll settle a bit as the season wears on.

Also been messing around with my layout. I think I solved my trellis-shade problem by loading one rear box with tomatoes and either trellis the north row and stake the front, or run the trellis down the middle and grow them up either side. Regardless, I will not be trellising the row of boxes south of those boxes and either set some stakes or put up small trellises (2-3 ft long -- sun will penetrate to northern box) in a sort of ad-hoc fashion as I need them.

So far, I'm very pleased with the progress so far. Another solid weekend of work, and all the major projects will be done. I'm hoping I can even get some onion sets in in time. I had my doubts that I'd make it a couple weeks ago.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New boxes are built

Finished building the new boxes on Sunday. Painted them with boiled linseed oil this time to see if that will extend the life of the wood a bit. I still have to dig the boxes in and level them.

Also picked up my first load of manure (13 bags). Need about two more loads of that to fill the new boxes.

Also realized I have a bit of a problem with my layout plan. I have two adjacent 2x8 boxes running East-West. Directly in front of these is another pair of 2x8 boxes. The north side of all these boxes will have trellises. I was hoping to space these 2 feet apart, but I'm now realizing the trellises of the front boxes may shade the back boxes at certain points of the year. Trouble is, I need the boxes fairly tight to each other to save space, but I also need the trellis space for tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and peas. I'm wondering if 3ft spacing will be enough?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good progress

Over the past two days, our old metal shed was taken down, the wood foundation removed, some gravel shoveled out, and the ground leveled as well as possible. The ground has a slight slope to it and is not entirely even, but I think it should work. If anything, I may have to dig the high end of the boxes in a couple inches.

Last year's garden was four 4x4 boxes. I am reusing them this year (pushing them together in pairs so will effective be two 4x8's), and also adding four 2x8's which will have trellises along the north sides -- effectively 32 ft of trellis space. Total space will be 128 sq ft.

Last fall, on junk day, I found two huge coils of garden fencing with stakes. I should have enough to build a legit fence this year (rather than my jury-rigged chicken-wire cages I used last year). Gotta love free stuff!