It’s Time For a Garden Update!
I’ve spent each spring planting a vegetable garden right in the ground, in long rows, and spent each summer having to fight the weeds for my food. After building 12 Raised Garden Beds and planting my garden, I’ve learned that raised beds are a little different. I’d say it’s much better…but I have to admit that a few things completely threw me for a loop! So let’s jump right into my Raised Bed and Garden Update!
My DIY Raised Garden Beds:
Back in May, I built 12 large raised garden beds.
It’s the end of July and my garden has grown a lot! I’m so excited to share what I’ve learned over the past few months! Right now we are harvesting green beans, lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers! Let me tell you…everything is so YUMMY!!!
What I Have Growing In My Raised Garden Beds This Year:
Before I get into what I’ve learned here is a list of what I have planted in my raised garden beds this year.
- Green Beans
- Sweet Corn
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Bell Peppers
- Pickling Cucumbers
What I Have Growing In The Ground Near The Raised Beds:
I have a strawberry patch as well as a huge pumpkin patch along the side of the raised garden beds. I also used part of the side yard to plant some wildflowers. It’s nothing special but it’s nice to have a small cutting garden! I’ve been picking wildflowers and making small bouquets every couple of days and it’s so fun to see the fresh flowers in the cottage!
The First Mistake I Made In My Raised Beds And What I’ve Learned From It:
I made my first mistake right after planting my garden beds! The weather got warm so fast this spring that I was really worried about my plants drying out. I would typically water my garden (in the ground) every morning for at least an hour or so to keep my plants hydrated. I quickly found out that my raised beds, with all that rich garden soil, didn’t need so much water. The soil held the water and my plants were drowning. I started watering about 1/3 of what I was and the plants quickly recovered! I am amazed at how much better the raised beds are at keep the plants hydrated.
If you’re new to gardening in raised beds, make sure not to overwater. Overwatering can kill your plants just as easily as underwatering so be careful! Too much water suffocates the root (causing root rot) and can kill your plant in 7-10 days.
The Second Mistake I Made In My Garden This Year:
This second mistake is SO SAD but SO funny at the same time!!! Let me explain! We just got back from a weekend camping trip to find every single tomato plant munched to DEATH by worms! The biggest worms I have ever seen and I had NO clue what tomato worms even looked like…I had NEVER seen them or had them in my garden and I have planted tomatoes my whole adult life! I have been making salsa, sauce, and all kinds of canned tomato things for years! SO you can imagine my SHOCK!
Turns out my husband, who grew up on a farm, had taken it upon himself to check my garden for tomato worms and pick them off for me and killed them (if he ever found any) for the past 19 years!!!! He never once told me he was doing that! He just let me go on thinking that I was a super amazing gardener!!!! Can you believe that!? Now that’s LOVE! LOL!
Because he was camping over the weekend, no one was there to catch the worm invasion before it was too late! It’s a valuable lesson learned and I will just have to visit the farmers market to get my tomatoes this year!
Summing It All Up:
All in all, I am THRILLED with my choice to build these garden beds and with how my garden is doing so far! They are so easy to tend to and other than those two problems…my veggies are doing excellent! We are eating daily from our garden and enjoying every minute of it!
One of the things I love so much about having these raised beds is that I get very few weeds. When I do have weeds, pulling them is a breeze because I can sit on the corner seat or the edge the whole time!
I do still plan to build a large fence to keep my produce safe (it’s on the list of things to do). I wanted to make sure that this size garden was going to be large enough for me before putting in a permanent fence. I still may build a few more raised garden beds…we’ll see, I’m still not sure.
I will say, I have been super lucky and I am not having trouble with wildlife snacking, but that could change any day! Having a fence is a must and we will be putting one up soon.
This year I’ve been keeping a more detailed garden journal so that when next spring rolls around I remember what troubles and victories I had. Knowing what all varieties I planted and how well they did will be so helpful when I am ordering seeds in the future! A great way to design and keep track of your raised bed garden is on a website called Gardeners Supply. They have a feature where you can design your garden or choose from their predesigned gardens! It’s so cool and it was very helpful to me when I was planning how close to plant veggies in my raised beds!
Now that I have grown my very first garden in raised beds I can say with no hesitation…gardening this way is AMAZING! I love that it’s so beautiful and much more functional! And guys, it’s SO MUCH LESS WORK! I will never go back to gardening in huge rows again! There are way too many other things I’d rather spend my time doing that rototilling a garden or pulling weeds all summer long!