And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, November 30, 2007

A New Beginning

What you see here is my new raised beds in my veggie patch. There are 10 4x8 beds, and some extra room at the back where Dad and I are considering putting some raspberry and blackberry canes. I would like access to the berries without having to brave the deer flies, but don't know how practical it is to be growing them. I am afraid we will need more plants than we have room for to get a decent harvest. We'll see.

The paths in between the beds will be covered with a thick layer of grass clippings, and then topped with the salvaged carpet I got while dumpster diving last summer (living by a home decorating center has it's perks!). This past summer I tried the carpet with and without the grass clippings underneath, and found that the grass added an extra layer of weed protection. Since grass clippings are easy to come by, I will be doing all the paths this way come spring.

So I have 320 square feet to plant come spring. I have requested seed catalogs from every seed company I could find, and am already planning what will go where. I am excited to see how much I can actually produce in this limited space. There are such conflicting statistics on how much room is needed to grow x amount of food. It will be interesting to see what I can come up with.

I am considering the whole succession planting thing, but am concerned that it isn't very likely to work well in my zone 3 garden. I know according to the map I should be zone 4, but I think they lie. Of course, if I use some row covers and other methods of extending the season I may have more luck.

I just don't want to bite off more than I can chew in any given year. I do plan to use plastic to warm the soil early in the spring so I can get some cool weather crops in right away, but I want to focus mainly on making sure that I can keep up with the veggie and flower beds AND preserve the harvest. I have trouble keeping up with the processing, but plan to be bringing stuff to work, and doing it there. Aren't you all jealous that I have such an easy job? As long as I get the cleaning and cooking done at night I can use the rest of the time for my own pursuits. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I thought it was about time I actually posted something about my garden since that IS the name of this blog. Don't want my gardening friends to think I have been slacking!


Lisa said...

Your beds are so beautiful! This is going to be an exciting spring and summer for you! Congrats on a job well done.

barefoot gardener said...


Thank you very much! I have to admit that Dad did most of the work building, but I definitely did my fair share of shovelling!

Kati said...

Those sound like some awesome plans. And they are some great planting boxes!!!! Looking forward to seeing some pics of the boxes full of plants this coming summer.

RuthieJ said...

Oh BG, I'm so JEALOUS! Your raised beds are so beautiful and I like your idea about carpet and grass clippings in between to keep the grass away. Will your dad be working in the gardens with you too?
I bet you will be really anxious for spring to arrive in 2008!

Em said...

Very are going to have such a nice garden next spring. Maybe you'll have enough to share with all of us!

barefoot gardener said...

I am going to be so stinkin' proud of my garden this year you are going to be begging me to STOP posting pictures.

Yeah, Dad gets out there and helps. I always like it when he does, because the work usually goes faster when you have someone to talk to.
You're right, I am very excited. I would give up x-mas for spring planting any day!

Wouldn't that be nice? I would probably bust my buttons with pride if that happened.

Wendy said...

What an awesome garden! It's gorgeous. I have really good luck with my raised beds. It's amazing how MUCH can be grown in such a little space.

barefoot gardener said...

I am hoping that there will be lots to harvest! Last year I had just a few raised beds that I threw together on a whim, and they were so much easier to deal with than the plantings that were in-ground.