I’ve dabbled with planting vegetables over several years, but always in pots on the back porch. Late summer last year, I decided to give in-ground and raised beds a try. I rented a big rear tine tiller to break up a 25’x30′ patch in my back yard. As the ground is over the septic field, I’m using that patch for stuff that grows edible bits above ground like corn, peppers, tomatoes and the like. For the stuff that grows in or on the ground I built three raised beds. I had 10 cubic yards of landscape mix soil delivered (@1,800 lbs per cubic yard, so 9 US tons). My father and I, using shovels and wheel barrows, moved all of that from the driveway to the backyard. Needless to say that we were quite sore after that.
I’ll post some pictures of how it gets along, but so far it’s making what appears to me to be good progress.
Pictures from April 30th
Corn Rows with blueberry bush April 30
Here’s a little over a month later.
The tomatoes in the back are over 4 feet tall and have lots of fruit, none ripe yet though. There are several different varieties that got all munged together due to me dropping the container with all the seedlings in it. So much for trying to have it all nice and organized.
Top left in this shot are giant sunflowers. The tallest is almost 8′ with stalks that are around 3″ at the base. The sweet corn in the upper right only grew to about 5 1/2′. I think they tasseled out early due to stress of not having enough nitrogen earlier on. This is the first year I’ve done this, so I’m still learning. Just to the left of the corn and lower down than the sunflowers are okra plants.
I don’t have a good earlier shot of the three raised beds I built, but I included a shot of them here
The top left bed is cucurbits which is overflowing. Something to keep in mind for next year is to plant fewer of them. There are cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash and cantaloupe in that grouping. The butternut squash is a monster and is crawling out of all four corners of the bed. I’ll have to figure out if I dedicate an entire bed to that one next year.
The bottom left is butter lettuce (only one survived), sweet basil and dill. Just in front of those are several pots of potatoes, most of which are doing well.
The bottom right is strawberries and garlic. The strawberries are second year that were growing in a pot until spring. The garlic hasn’t done so well, only three of the cloves have put out shoots.
Upper right are a few pots that stayed indoors over winter. The biggest is my jalapeno bush which is putting out large numbers of peppers. The slightly smaller bush is bell peppers. To the right are two lemon trees that I started last year. The little pot that all you can see is green is oregano.