I dreamt of a garden in the back yard for years. Each summer came and went with no garden, just a couple of tomato plants and a few herbs in pots near the back deck. I would get one or two tomatoes at a time and I was always afraid to cut many herbs for fear of using them all in one dish. While a few homegrown veggies were good, it would have been wonderful to have enough produce at one time to make batches of homemade salsa.
This past Mother's Day, hubby grew tired of the begging and finally got on board with the garden idea. Holla!
We didn't want to tear up the yard too much with a traditional tilled garden so we opted for raised beds. We purchased (6) eight foot 2x10s at the hardware store and my husband and son went to work creating two raised garden beds. They laid the boxes out where I wanted them, spray painted the outlines on the sod and then flipped the boxes over out of the way.
They opted to rent a sod cutter to remove the sod where the beds would be located. What would have taken about an hour by hand took them maybe 10 minutes and a lot less energy with the machine. Totally worth the money to rent and we had perfect little rolls of sod to place in a few bare spots around the yard.
We filled the boxes with fill dirt to about three inches from the top of the bed compacting the dirt as we went with a tamper. The compacting part was a good workout for the arms and legs! We finished up with a two inch layer of top soil. (There may be a better way to amend the soil for a garden, but this is what we did and you'll see below everything seems to be growing fine.) Here are the beginnings of the garden. I ended up planting two regular tomato plants and two cherry tomato plants, four green pepper plants, cucumbers, parsley, basil, cilantro and chives in one bed and garlic, onions, a few more cilantro plants and green beans in the second bed.
A month and a half later and this is what we have with barely any rain in our area (but a lot of watering). Success!
We've already harvested a large bowl of beans (only downside is I mistakenly purchased wax beans instead of the green beans I intended) and a couple of cucumbers.
I love nibbling on cherry tomatoes while I water each evening. In a few more days the rest of the garden will be ready to pick so I can make a big batch of homemade salsa. Can't wait!
I'm thrilled with our simple little DIY garden. I haven't broken it to hubby yet that I really need two more beds next year. Sweet corn in our own backyard would be amazing. :-)