raised vegetable beds

I’ve been eagerly planning four raised vegetable beds. The past few summers I planted veggies in a dozen or so Earth Boxes scattered around the yard. While that worked well, I want something more permanent. So Paul cleared land in the fall for a large vegetable garden, but a few trees remain that are a bit tricky to take down. Although we’ve had the loam for a month, we’ve held off construction, waiting for those last few trees to be removed by a local logging company.

I’d planned an in ground garden, but after clearing the trees we discovered solid mucky clay with only the tiniest layer of top soil. It’s amazing the trees that can grow in clay. I’m not so convinced my vegetables will have as much luck. The more I’ve read on the subject, the more I like the idea of raised vegetable beds, so that’s the plan. I showed Paul what I wanted for raised beds and he cut enough boards to give me four beds this year.

Well, it’s June 13 and I’m tired of waiting. Paul will readily agree that patience has never been one of my virtues. Summers are so short here in Maine that if I don’t make something happen, there will be no garden this year. Today we constructed two of the four planned beds. Right in front of the porch in my gravel front yard. At least I can get a few things planted and when the troublesome trees come down we can construct the other two in the new veggie patch. Next season, if I have a mind to, these beds can be relocated. Or they can live where they are and we’ll build more in the vegetable patch.

The beds are 4′ x 8′ and 16″ tall. They were constructed from 2″ thick rough cut hemlock boards that we’ve had stacked up out back since we built the house. Many of these boards served as frames for the concrete house footers (that we poured ourselves) back in the fall of 2004. They won’t last for ever, but the price was right.

Today I planted tomatoes, green peppers, pickling cucumbers, salad cucumbers, pole beans and zucchini. There’s room for a few more plants. Not enough to put much up for the winter, but hopefully before long we’ll be enjoying fresh veggies!