Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thinking about the spring garden......already!

Here is a great article from Mother Earth News.

Vertical Gardening Techniques for Maximum Returns - Organic Gardening - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

It really makes me excited for spring to get here so I can get out in the garden and get started! Yes, I know, winter is only 2 days old.....but I know that January is coming and spring planting time will be nipping at it's heels!

I'm going to start planning the planting layout for my garden beds soon!


Here are my boys with some of the early radishes from the garden the year before last!

We have 3 simple rectangular raised beds made from untreated cedar. We are planning to build one more bed this spring for a total of 4 beds! The sizes of the raised beds are  4'x8',  5'x10' and 6'x12'. The 5'x10' is my favorite size.....the 6'x12' is a little bit big, but they didn't  have any of the 10' boards in and I didn't want to waste any of the wood, so we just went with the larger size.

This is a very simple plan for making a raised bed. You just buy 3 untreated cedar boards 8 or 10 feet long by 8-12 inches wide. Cut one in half and use long nails to attach the four pieces together. I dug up all of the sod where I was going to place the frame. We ordered garden soil and filled the beds with a mix of garden soil, compost and composted chicken and steer manure. I have an easy method for composting all of my non-cooked, non-meat, kitchen waste, which I will write a post about later. :-)

I also have a bed along the fence behind the raised beds that has raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. We also have an Italian Plum tree, a Liberty Apple Tree, a grafted apple tree with 4 or 5 different grafts, a grafted pear with 4 grafts, and an Asian Pear tree. I'm considering possibly putting in a filbert tree this spring (if I can make room) as well as more blueberries.

When you have a small space to garden in, I agree with Mother Earth News that growing vertically can be a way to expand your garden bounty and make the best use of your space! I have used a trellis of sorts with my peas and beans made out of stakes and hemp twine.

But I really like the idea of using rigid livestock panels to make an arched growing surface between two beds! I think it would enhance the looks of your garden space as well as making use of the area between your beds! Not to mention it should last for a good long time!

I hope I've gotten you excited to start planning your garden now! It's the perfect time to do it when there is not much else to do in the yard!


  1. I am also thinking about our garden and how we are going to rev it up a bit this year. That article is very cool saw it the other day at the store... Something to think about... :P

  2. in Territorial Seed Catalog arrived in the mail today! :-D