When we bought our house six and a half years ago we were faced with a yard that had basic landscaping, no trees or bushes, and had not been taken care of.
First things first we knew we wanted a fence. Both to fulfill HOA requirements and for the safety of the little people and our own security.
Next, we wanted a garden. At first the husband wanted a traditional square in the corner using existing soil. I wasn’t so sure. We had been working on the front landscaping and it was becoming clear to me that we had terrible, heavy, clay soil.
Through my research I had discovered dirt is the number one most important factor in gardening success. So after much discussion, he agreed and built me two garden boxes right next to my back (kitchen) door. We filled them with good dirt and our gardening adventure began.
I love my garden boxes. They are super easy to keep weeded and their location next to the door means that I can slip out and grab fresh herbs or greens in the middle of preparing dinner. In my bare feet no less. But, we quickly out grew the space as I wanted bigger and more.
So, we planned and schemed and came up with an idea to use our side yard for our garden expansion. Bricks were purchased from a local plant and we terraced the space.
We brought in some good dirt and rocked the path. Then, finally, it was ready to plant this year.
We’ve learned a lot through this process and still have much to add. The dirt we had so lovingly brought in started to wash out under the fence (boo!). So we have since blocked the space up meaning we can add more dirt (yay!). Hubs has agreed to build me a compost box for the back corner. We also discovered the white fence reflects the sun and bakes the lower beds, so we will have to figure out what to do about that.
Despite those things the garden produced well. I have pumpkins coming out my ears. I’ve harvested 50 lbs. of potatoes already and have only dug up half. We only got a couple handfuls of pole beans and half a dozen ears of corn because of the reflected heat. The tomatoes struggled in the heat as well, but were really starting to pick up this fall when an early frost killed the vines (next year I’ll be better about getting them covered!). The garden boxes have kept us in lettuce, spinach, herbs, radishes, peas, Swiss chard, carrots and bush beans. My garlic and onions were a fail and the birds ate all the strawberries. But, I got buckets and buckets of raspberries, so I’m happy.
The raspberries live on the other side of the house.
Overall, I’m learning that gardening is a lot more trial and error than I thought. The work is never done as everything is always growing and changing. But, I’m excited for the ride and to share my experience here.