Sunday, May 13, 2012

Garden Redo 2012: The Plan

Yesterday's supply-gathering foray in Portland was only partially successful. Why is it that any time we have big plans, there's a glitch? This time, we weren't happy with the cedar boards we found (they had long grooves routed in, apparently "the thing" for decking boards), so instead are having a cedar log custom milled into true 2" x 12" boards, 12' long. (This is actually cheaper, will take less lumber, and is special because one of Paul's co-workers is doing it.) Paul will pick them up today.

We're building our raised beds using these plans from Sunset Magazine. I've been a devoted Sunset reader for years (from a line of devoted readers!) so always trust what I find there. These beds are super simple and should be easy for Paul and I to pull off despite pretty limited carpentry skills. (I was trying to remember the table saw safety I learned in 7th grade shop class...but given how many years it's been since those fun, noisy, productive days, I realized I'll have to rely on Mr. Google to help me out.)

Now, for the overall garden plan - the bones and layout. This is a large, nearly square space. The actual size was much easier to see once all the concrete was removed (by my strong hubby) and the soil tilled. Overall, it's over 1100 square feet! We plan to build a 6' fence and/or plant some tall shrubs along the southern side (and beyond) to screen the view, noise, dirt and rocks the obnoxious folks next door hurl our way when they race their quads and go carts around their pasture (which butts up against the front third of our southern boundary). We plan for 3' paths all around and between each of the beds or other items in the garden so we can easily move a wheelbarrow or garden cart through. We will also fence the northern and western sides to keep the critters out.

Six 4'x8' beds only take up half the space arranged this way. Yikes!

We want room for our 6'x8' greenhouse and 4'x4' shed. This seemed awkward...

But then again, what would we do with that big blank area? Stumped, I went outside with my work and showed it to Paul...

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

My man is so smart! Not only will our greenhouse and shed still be easily accessible, but we'll have TWO areas in which to plant in the ground until we come up with any future permanent beds! This is the best, too...not only do we finally have a home for the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries we've been itching to grow, but we can also have a small plot for corn and/or pole beans, which will help screen our back patio from another neighbor's view. Cool!

I'll continue to post updates as we make progress. Obviously, our first plan of attack is to get these beds built and filled with the perfect soil/compost mixture, and then plant our veggies, herbs and beneficial insect-attracting flowers as soon as our first frost is over and the soil is warm enough. We may need to wait on the berries - at least the raspberries and blueberries - until next spring, and that's ok. We have plenty to keep us busy this year!


  1. It looks like you have a good and sound plan. :) Being able to shield from the neighbors and still work in so nicely for the plan is a real nice benefit!

  2. I'm making myself one of those charts. Maybe the garden will have a chance then!


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