When we moved into a house with a yard, planting a vegetable garden was high on our list of domestic projects. We’d bought a how-to book on gardening before we left the apartment, but, not aroused by the idea of growing turnips and beets, decided to wait until spring to begin. (Also, Bryan was busy with this other project.) About a month ago, we had a break in the rain just long enough to build our bed and lay in our first seeds and seedlings.
(the garden, first planted)
Not for us simply dropping seeds in the soil, no. Of course there had to be research and deliberation. The method we ultimately chose (because it seemed straightforward and easy for beginners to maintain) is a version of raised-bed gardening, in which you basically build a big planter, fill it with an ideal soil mix, and space your seeds and seedlings in various configurations within each square foot. We emptied a section of the existing raised bed that rings our backyard, dropped in some cinder block borders—for that charming Soviet style—to segregate our fancy soil from the surrounding clay, and mixed up one part each compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. We used kite string tied to stakes to mark off one-foot squares.
(Bryan mixing the soil)
Then it was planting time. From left to right, back to front, it’s spinach, radishes (from seed), strawberries x2, more radishes, broccoli x2, strawberries, herbs (flat-leaf parsley, oregano), mixed lettuce, red lettuce, and more strawberries. The whole process took about three hours.
(the garden, yesterday)
Aside from a couple of hastily-reprimanded dog invaders, the garden has been completely unscathed since we planted. I water it on days when it doesn’t rain, but it has yet to require any other maintenance. Every day we go out and poke the lettuce. It’s been such a pleasure that we plan to build another bed just next to it in a few weeks, for summer vegetables like tomatoes and pole beans. Possibly squash. Stay tuned.