When Pete and I began actively looking for a house about a year ago, we both had our own requirements. He wanted a place REALLY close to the lake, and I wanted a yard with enough sun for a vegetable garden. In November, we happened to find a foreclosure that offered both of those, plus four bedrooms, a finished basement, and new paint and carpet throughout. It has a pool, too, but that almost turned us away.
Shortly after we closed in January, I received my annual Burpee catalog in the mail. It became my favorite novel. I studied it and picked out everything that I could possibly hope to plant in the spring. When it looked like “winter” was almost over, I headed to Home Depot AND Lowes to try and figure out this raised bed thing. I purchased a cedar kit and lots of soil. The workers at Lowes couldn’t believe how much soil I was purchasing, but I’m glad I followed the advice of the man that was helping me. He was right on the money!
Pete calls my garden my obsession. It is right at the end of the driveway, and our kitchen window overlooks it. It hasn’t been without its failures, though, and I know now not to plant things that I never buy at the grocery store…ahem, four cucumber plants and jalapeno plants. My zucchini and squash were destroyed by the slugs, and I ended up with about twice as many tomatoes as I originally wanted because initially, they, too, were being eaten by slugs. Thankfully, though, they survived, but in the end, I had EIGHT tomato plants for TWO people. I have enjoyed giving them to friends and coworkers, plus the airport parking staff, who were the most delighted of all.
Next year, I would like to add a second raised bed and connect it to my original one. I need to space my plants out a little more and this winter, develop some sort of staking system. My tomato plants are currently nearing eight feet tall, but the tallest stakes that I have are six feet tall, so they are falling over on top of themselves. I have a huge portion of my bed devoted to herbs, some of which are five feet tall.
It is halfway through September, and I have hardly any room for fall vegetables because I can’t bring myself to remove my still thriving plants. They’ll remain until they remain no more…
My first adventure in gardening has been a great one! I can only hope that next year is even better (and that my front flower garden progresses a little…)!