For the last four years (and two houses) I’ve had dreams of a glorious vegetable garden. Raised beds, gravel paths, trellises and fences. You’ll note that what I’m actually dreaming of is building things for a garden. When it comes to planting and nurturing and harvesting… I just kind of stand around with my hammer. Blinking.
What do you mean I don’t need my hammer to garden?
Well, this is crap.
But seeing as how I’ve already got a load of gravel in my driveway and four raised beds built… I guess I’m in for the planting and nurturing thing. (I’m pretty sure I can nurture with my hammer, but whatever.) And I finally decided the first step to getting those beds in the ground was to design and stake out the garden.
Here’s my current plan:
The idea is to build a more permanent chicken structure in the middle (and maybe use some of the old windows I found in one of the barns for a little greenhouse), and then use half the space as a vegetable garden that will be a chicken-free zone except for specific times of the year when I use them to help cultivate the beds. Mostly the chickens will free-range in the paddocks that will contain all kinds of chicken (and people) friendly plants. (Sunflowers, mulberry bushes, blueberries, chickweed, hops, and chard are on that list.)
Realistically the structure of the garden– buildings and fences– probably won’t be done until late Summer, but you’ve got to start somewhere so I started by climbing a tree…
In crocks. My tree-climbing skills are unparalleled, and in this case, useful, because I’m not an engineer and in order to properly stake out the garden, I needed a birds-eye view. (I’m telling you… living with an engineer for a few years will really give you a false impression of how easy it is to lay out building stakes.)
To make it easier to visualize I actually just mowed the grass inside my proposed garden area and left everything else a jungle for a few days. This worked surprising well.
Then I started setting the first three of my six beds (you can see how I build them for $25 here), which I expected to take a couple of hours, and by “a couple” I mean “eight hours and a decent sunburn.”
I don’t know why in the hell it took that long, but I did spend some time puzzling over how do deal with my gently sloping yard. In the end I decided to “step” the boxes, so individually each one is level, but they step down with the grade.
Next up, two more boxes need to go in, and they need to be backfilled and planted, hopefully in the next two weeks. Then it’s time to move on to things like fences and foundations.
I’m so good at this “gardening” thing.