I am happy to report that my veggie garden is taking shape beautifully! I’ve created pathways, made raised beds and started planting. I’ve even had a harvest of mole-eaten beets and beautiful patty pans. While the water restrictions are making things a little bit difficult, I am prevailing!
Here’s the planned layout of the garden. It’s very ambitious – and very big! – but luckily I am not having to work it on my own. My wonderful gardener Titus has been an enormous help in getting my vision to reality.
Let’s first talk a bit about raised beds. I am a big fan of raised beds for a few reasons:
- they look really lovely!
- they keep your healthy, compost-rich soil nice and contained
- with the right size beds, you will be able to reach your plants without having to step onto them
With that then, I set forth in creating mine. I should rather say, recreating. They have been there for a while, but after the cattle trampling incident, many were destroyed. So Titus and I went to the fruit packing company down the road and bribed the lovely man fixing the broken fruit crates to give us the planks we needed to fix our beds.
It really is as simple as placing planks or poles on their side to create your desired shape – I like square – and keeping them in place with either the paving of your pathways or by knocking some droppers into the ground next to them. The wood has to be treated to prevent rot, which is why agricultural crates are perfect. If you do not have access to these, then tanalith-treated pine planks or gum poles will work perfectly as well.
My beds measure 1x1m so that the center can easily be accessed. I also have long beds that are 1m wide x about 6m long. These work especially well for crawling veggies and fruit like butternut, melon or watermelon.
Then the pathways. So you don’t HAVE to have paved pathways, but they do really come in handy in the rainy season when everything can be a muddy mess. If your OCD is mostly under control however, then you don’t need to cover them in any way. I put down weed cloth and used old broken bricks from when we renovated the house to create neat paths. I use the excuse that the veggie garden is right at the entrance to the farm, and that everyone who comes in to visit my husband’s company see it. That way I don’t have to explain too much!
I still dream of the wild flower garden in the middle of the veggies and the bench looking out over the garden, but for now the biggest challenge is to just get everything to grow!
In my next post, I’ll look at companion planting and the layout of the beds.
Till then, happy gardening!