Spring gardening is finally underway!

Holy cow guys – I cannot describe to you just how pleased I am to have the garden growing.  I had some great photos of all the strange stuff I buried under the soil in the raised beds to help make up some bulk, but when I went to pull all the photos from the SD card, Craig had accidentally deleted them.  So blame him for not being able to see photos of my christmas tree and untreated 2x4s that came out of our walls being buried.  Bah Humbug!

Raised garden bed with hoop house

I made the trellis out of scrap 2x4s we had laying around.  I’m really not sure what they’re from, but they’ve been sitting in the garage for well over a year.  One of them was used as a fence when we built the marble coffee table.  Anyway, the 2x4s got lag bolted to the beds and then I screwed in little eye hooks and ran string through them to make a criss-cross shape.  This was experimental when I initially tried it in 2009 and it proved to be such a great plan.  It’s easily removable (in case something gets so skanky and tangled in the trellis that you just want to cut it out and compost everything), but it’s also sturdy and only takes a few minutes to restring.  Additionally, any type of layout you want can be used.  Last year in my tomato bed, I just ran 3 vertical strings and wrapped my indeterminate tomato varieties around them as they grew.

diy string trellis
Diy trellis on raised garden bed

Yesterday I got a ton of seeds in the ground.  In this particular bed, the layout is
Peas
Carrots
Carrots
Lettuce
Lettuce
Red Kale
Blue Dwarf Kale

Bush Zucchini will be going in in a few weeks, and when we get that planted, I’m also putting in some vining heirloom summer squash thing that I’m gonna try to grow up the trellis with the peas.

Peas planted next to diy trellis

heirloom seeds kale lettuce

A few years ago I used tunnel covers for the first time.  It’s basically just PVC pipes that I jam in the soil (and use the sides of the bed to hold them in place) and then drape sheet plastic over and use plastic springy clip things to hold it on.  I’m comfortable planting things out weeks earlier than I normally would because the plastic helps warm the soil up during the day and retain heat at night.

A few other things that got planted yesterday in other beds were:
Golden Beets
Red Beets
Spinach
Lettuce
Garlic
Blue Potatoes
Shallots

Small raised beds, bamboo trellis and planting in galvanized trash cans

We took down a bunch of branches from our madrona tree.  When we moved in, this madrona had been so trained and trimmed and hacked down that it appeared to be a rhodendron.  But with peely bark and no flowers.  Whoever had been maintaining the yard didn’t want it to be an actual tree.  Which was sad, because madronas are gorgeous trees when allowed to grow.  So since we moved in, I’ve been slowly taking out the bottom branches and encouraging it to grow upward.  It’s put on probably 5-10 feet over the last few years, and Craig finally got irritated with how low the branches were hanging over the raised beds, so he went at it with the loppers and limbed it up.

And I am aware that I have junk and weeds all over my yard.  We are in desperate need of mulch and a thorough cleanup.

This long skinny bed isn’t vegetables or even edibles.  It contains dahlias, hops, wisteria, honeysuckle, and tends to re-seed itself in nasturtiums each year.  It’s one of my favorite beds.

Messy yard with raised vegetable beds

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