Well, I’m up early, so I thought I’d get rolling with this blog. In case you haven’t read my “About Me” section, I love to garden. This spring, I planted quite a few new plants for me.
To give you an idea of the area that I’m gardening, it’s a raised bed with the dimensions of 8 feet by 16 feet. To prepare the garden, I first had to build the frame. This wasn’t too bad, except the ground isn’t perfectly flat, so the boards cannot line up properly, unless I’m willing to level the ground…and I’m not. After preparing the frame, I began systematically digging up all of the grass and moving it to other areas of the yard in need. I cannot stress how incredibly not fun that was. I took two weeks for the first half and, since I was throwing a party, spent a whole day and finished the second half in a day. >.
After the newspaper was laid, I covered everything with a thick coating of dead leaves (to prevent weeds and so they will compost and help my plants) followed by over 1000 pounds of manure, compost, hummus, and (a little) top soil. I mostly used Black Kow brand manure. I’ve heard from people who have been farming their whole lives that it’s the best. They seem to be right. My plants are doing wonderfully.
My girlfriend works as a florist so sometimes she gets potted plants that cannot be sold. This is where our herbs and some tomatoes came from. She brought back dill, parsley, chives, and Early Bird tomatoes. We also received 3 tomato seedlings and 2 squash seedlings from her father.
On our own, we planted many different kinds of seeds. Here’s the complete list: Globe Amaranth, Arkansas Traveler Tomato, Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato, Star of David Okra, Yamato Cucumber, Poona Kheera Cucumber, Moon and Stars Watermelon, Green (Edamame) Soybeans, and Violet’s Multicolored Butterbeans. The watermelon and amaranth are only at my house, but everything else is at both mine and my girlfriends. So far the Early Bird tomatoes have produced, the yellow crooked-neck squash has produced, and the okra has produced.
Everything was delicious. Oh, I forgot to mention that a good friend of mine Dr. Bordas gave us an organically grown basil. It is thriving and yummy. As a side note, I try to use only heirloom and organic seeds. In addition, all of the seeds I buy come from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They are wonderful and nice (and inexpensive). I trust them completely. You can also find them on twitter @SE_SeedExchange.
I don’t have any pictures right now, but we have over 30 tomatoes coming in, around 25 pods of beans, and around 10 cucumbers (and a few okra). Our blackberry bushes have already produced everything they’ll give us (delicious). Everything is wonderful and beautiful and spectacular. I love nature and I love working in the garden. Oh, for good information on raised bed gardening, check out The Garden Girl. She’s inspirational.