Monday, April 25, 2011

Vegetable Garden Beds

I have never, ever, ever grown a vegetable garden.

I planted a tomato plant in 1998 and it produced ONE cherry tomato.  After two months.

I planted it in a whiskey barrel on a north-facing deck.  Well............. that ain't gonna work.

I became intimidated by the whole vegetable garden thing, but decided, this time around, to give it a shot.

I read and read and read and read.  Swore to stick to the rules.  Followed the advice of those pioneers in the world of vegetable gardening and agreed, promised, swore to do as they said.

We have three vegetable garden beds.  All raised, eight inches off the ground.  These beds are 11' x 3' because the experts said they should be.  Our total square footage is less than one hundred square feet (we come in at 99) because the experts said we need to stay at that number.

We will grow what we love:  tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, carrots, snow peas.

We probably have room for more goodies (onions, garlic, potatoes) but I don't trust my knowledge of space and how much I need.

We will plant a marigold plant at every corner of each bed.

We will visit daily and expunge weeds.

We will keep it as pretty as we can lest we suffer Robin's tongue and whip lashings.

Based on everything I've read, I think I'm too late for lettuces.  I love the lettuces:  spinach, green leaf, arugula, romaine, and Boston.

We have a spot for a cold frame but I think we need to wait until later in the season to get that going.

Our beds run north to south, as the experts recommended.  I'll be able to see the fruits of my labor from my office located in the bowels of my home (thank God for Bilco windows).

We have seven straight days of rain in our forecast.

Frank is strongly suggesting that we get something into the ground and make good use of those showers.

I will do that.

It's on my list.  Along with purchasing tomato cages (rumor has it that $2.50 Wal-Mart cages are a BAD, BAD choice), landscape fabric (not so sure I need that), and plastic little tab things where I can write what I've planted.

I just hope to get more than ONE tomato this year.


  1. Here is some advice from a long time gardener-forget the advice from the experts and simply trial techniques and plants in your own garden. Learn from doing and you will have the greatest crop ever. Use common sense with all. That being said I think you have a great start! It is most likely not too late for lettuce and radishes. My mother lives on the coast of Maine and I am sure she can grow cool season crops all summer-with a bit of shade. So maybe plant tomatoes with the lettuce so the tomatoes can shade the lettuce and you'll be picking both for a sweet salad. On the tomato cages the BEST $10 I ever spent in my vegetable garden was for a roll of concrete reinforcing wire. We got a roll at a local salvage yard and used bolt cutters to cut the cages to our specs. It made at least 10 tomato cages to 8 feet tall and about 25 peony cages. Tomatoes will grow this tall if they have a support (the indeterminate kind). I suspect I'll be reading soon that you'll have tons of tomatoes because at 99 square feet-that is a good sized vegetable garden! Good luck!

  2. Tina, Frank and I went out and bought the wire. Much less expensive to just buy the roll. He's making cages now but ours will only be five feet high. Also picked up a few seed packets and four little tomato plants. Let's see how we do. I am soooooo excited... like a mama-to-be awaiting her first born. Remember that? That's how I feel. Thanks for the advice and the vote of confidence. :-)

  3. My pleasure and don't worry, those babies will do fine:)

  4. Wow, that's a lot of veggies for a new gardener. My advice: grow what you like to eat and add in a few things you've never tried before. Everything tastes better fresh out of your very own garden.

  5. You think so, Heather? It looks so tiny to me. We're avid cooks and we've already filled these beds and wishing we had more room for more of what we eat. Would have liked to add more onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and about sixteen different herbs we eat. We have five modest planters for herbs but I don't think that will be enough. Won't be growing eggplants... beautiful fruit but I can't stand the taste of it. LOL Let's see how we do with this plot and we'll take it from there. I just hope my seeds weren't buried too deeply. :-(

  6. Just wondering how your garden is doing! Give us an update please.



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