Garden Redux (Take Two)

As many of my 3 readers will know, we’ve had a vegetable garden on the south side of our house for a little over a year now. We got quite a bit out of it the last two years but I wasn’t completely happy with the production. Lots of things did well but things like peppers and cucumbers did not. I had the feeling that it was due to the soil. When we first built it, I used GumboBuster from Soil Building Systems. I had used it before for several flower beds with pretty good success.

However, growing Texas native flowers in something like that and growing vegetables are two completely different endeavors. For the flowers and trees, any improvement to the soil is a major step because our soil here in the Metroplex is so terrible. Veggies on the other hand require a bit more care put into the soil. Also, we had major rabbit issues this year with an in-ground bed and when I put up a rabbit fence, it kept me from weeding around the bed. The result was a bermuda jungle that caused me great grief in the fall.

So with that in mind, I undertook a rebuilding project of the veggie garden to make it into a raised bed or two that would have less square footage but better soil. This time around, I used the actual vegetable soil from SBS and right off, you can tell it’s a better soil. As usual, the project took 3 weeks instead of 1 but such is life I suppose. I only got collards and garlic planted before I ran out of plantable days but I’m excited with the results and hopefully, the spring garden will be considerably more lush.

Here’s the before picture with some of the ingredients (the four bales, 2 of alfalfa and 2 of hay) in the background. For the bed on the far end, I used a no-dig method documented here

Two cubic yards of dirt. About 20 wheelbarrows full. A lot.

The borders. I used 2x12s, 10 feet long to build a 20 foot bed, 5 feet across. I also built a 5×5 bed of the same depth.

The three quarter finished point. I forgot to take pictures of the beds before they got filled but I sunk 18 inch pieces of 4×4 6 inches into the ground. I attached the 2x12s to the top foot of these with heavy duty exterior screws.

The 5×5 bed with the garlic and collards.

And the final result that Scooter apparently approves of in the background.

Assuming this turns out to be a rousing success, I’m thinking about adding another 10×3 foot bed on the fence side of this one, probably terraced with stones.

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