Our yard is a complete blank slate which is awesome in the sense that we get to do whatever we want, but then tiring to think about all we need to do to get what we want (and the money! lol). We decided one of the first things we would do this spring is add some raised garden boxes to the backyard so we can get that going. I love having a garden. In fact, our whole family does, so it was important to us. Since our yard is really thick clay dirt, where not even grass will grow in some spots, we went with the raised garden boxes to be able to grow our plants well. In fact, we even covered a large area where no grass would grow with them so it solved two things. Our goal next is to get some pea gravel to go around the edges of the boxes and in between the rows. But one thing at a time…..
We decided to go with untreated cedar fence planks after doing our research. Cedar is a natural bug deterrent which is good since things like termites can be bad down here. And untreated so no chemicals leach into the soil. My husband, who is pretty awesome, put the boxes together for us. The two smaller ones used 16 planks for each box. We didn’t trim the tops of the planks but used that area to attach a support piece of wood. It covered the small openings from the inside which made for no soil to fall out. The larger box used 24 planks. This one is taller so I can grow root vegetables with no problems. I learned a lot from our small square foot garden at our previous house so I knew I wanted at least one deep box for the root veggies. My husband also ended up adding wood stakes on the inside right in front of the support pieces to help keep the boxes from bursting open once the soil is added.
We were very blessed to be able to borrow a truck to bring in loads and loads of dirt. Not a very glamorous purchase, but something we needed to do. Who knew dirt could be so expensive? I mean the good kind for gardening. Top soil is less expensive but you would have to add all the extra stuff for it to be a good garden soil. So we went ahead and bought stuff that was already all “stinky” as the man we bought it from called it. After filling the beds I sat down and determined my planting scheme. I bought a bunch of seeds of things that we like to eat and decided I would make it all work somehow. I used those great pins on Pinterest that say what not to plant together when making my plan. The big box has carrots, peas, beans, and sunflowers. The middle box has watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, and squash. And the other little box is just for flowers because we love those so much.
I’m so excited to see how this all goes. I haven’t grown broccoli, beans, cantaloupe, or watermelon before. I’m interested to see how it does. Being that I am not a native of Louisiana, I keep testing things to see how they fair here.
We also splurged on some beautiful petunia hanging baskets. It feels so good to have some plants growing in our yard! Oh and we did plant four crepe myrtles to line the fence. We bought the Natchez variety and I can’t wait to see how those grow and bloom the next few years. Anyone else planting already? -jess