I didn’t spend as much time/energy on my garden this year, mostly because it was a new set up and I had way fewer plants. For the past 4 years I had a fenced in area with large low raised boxes. Here is a picture from my 2014 garden:
Looks good, right? It always started out great, and I would patiently wait and water and wait…but as the season went on I had beautiful plants but no produce! The dirt was only maybe 8 inches deep, and beneath that was hard concrete-like dirt. After a couple years of frustration with the limited output, I asked DH to help with creating a new garden. He took the fencing down and used the wood to create new taller boxes. It was a TON of work to take the dirt from the existing boxes and move it to the new boxes (my muscles got quite the workout for a few weekends this spring).
I only got one of the old boxes totally moved (now the two boxes to the left), the other (to the right in the picture) pretty much stayed a big heap of dirt this summer. In the two new boxes, I had tomatoes and basil in one and then summer squash and onions in the other. For the first year in quite a few I had more than one beefsteak tomato – yay! And the cherry tomato plant went crazy. The summer squash I planted were of the crookneck variety and I did not like the taste or texture so I’ve since replanted zucchini here (which one is currently being slowly eaten by the dreaded SVB…I keep stabbing the vine with a knife in an attempt to stab the larvae …I’m hoping to get a few squash before the plant dies off!).
I grew garbage can potatoes again but while the plants looked great I did’t get quite the harvest as I did last year – I think the wildly varying scorching hot then cool and super wet weather made them unhappy. I planted a jalapeno plant in a planter and it did quite well, next year I will ‘pretty’ up the space and have matching planters at the ends of the boxes with pepper plants. I attempted to grow carrots in a deep planter but they didn’t do very well either and I think that’s a product of the heat waves we had – if I plant carrots again I’ll put the container on the deck where I can control the direct sun it gets.
For the other old box, I did separate out the asparagus plot, and let the strawberries grow free range (they are on their 3rd year and due to go this fall). I attempted to grow corn and squash in the pile of dirt next to the strawberries, but not very well – my seeds were old (no telling how old Mom!!) and I wasn’t really expecting anything. So far I have one ear of corn and one spaghetti squash trying to mature.
I tried out a trick with planting cucumbers in a bag of soil – worked out great, but my trellis set up was a bust – I had this vision of the vines climbing up over this decorative arch but there obviously wasn’t enough for the vines to grab onto. I will try this method again next summer with a different trellis set up. I totally let the weeds get out of control on the ground around the planter boxes…(looking at the ‘before’ pictures while writing this post I’m in shock at how bad I let the weeds get LOL)
I neglected my compost bin this summer, I still have some bags in the freezer with scraps I meant to put in there…perhaps this fall. I also added a rain barrel this year, it was a very worthy addition!
So I would say the new boxes were a success and I’m looking forward to asking DH to build me a couple more and preparing for 2018. Now that it’s a permanent solution, I think we’ll have some pea stone delivered to go around the boxes and make it look nicer, I’m also going to re-position the flat stones for the garbage can potatoes over by the house for more shade. I have random clusters of gladiola’s that I haphazardly planted not expecting the bulbs to live so those need to be dug up and re-homed after they stop flowering and my resident Charlotte’s go into hibernation. I am toying with planting some cool-weather/fall veggies but considering we were wearing shorts and flip-flops at Thanksgiving last year I’m not sure when that would be haha 🙂