Opening the Garden

| 3/6/2012 8:50:52 PM

Blueberry Box 1I’m getting started on my garden by working on garden boxes. This one is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. All of my previous garden boxes are 4x4, but this one is specifically for a group of blueberry bushes and needs to be bigger. I'm building it out of 2x8" lumber and fastening the corners together with coated deck screws. I'm using untreated lumber to prevent the "treatment" from leeching into the soil in which I'm growing our food.

Garden Box

Blueberry Box 2Once the box is built I lug it out to the area I'll be expanding our garden into. This is normally the simple part: Just tack some weed cloth on the bottom and flop it down on top of the grass. But we live on a mountain and have to do things a bit differently. To prevent all the special soil from washing out of the box in a heavy rain (which we get often here) I have to dig the box down into the dirt to level it up

I start by going around the outside of the box with a pick to mark the location. Then I use the broad blade of the pick axe to dig a trench into which the rails of the box will sit. I can set the box in place every now and then, check it with a level and know where I need to dig more out.

Blueberry Box 3Here I'm almost done, I just need to remove the rest of the grass and dirt from inside the box, use some of it to build up around the downhill side and toss the rest into the garden cart to be hauled away. I dig in the upper side, build up the lower side. If I were to dig it in completely the high corner would need to be dug in about 16" deep. That’s just silly.

As it is I'll need to add a second run of lumber along the upper two sides to make sure water running down the hill won't wash out my fancy dirt and fill the box with grass, leaves and mud.

 Blueberry Box 5Over the next couple of weeks I need to build another 4x8 box and 10 more 4x4 boxes. We're going to be raising produce for selling at the local farmer's market this year; that's one of the way's I'm replacing the lost income from flat-lined furniture sales.

3/22/2015 10:02:48 AM

Allan, it is time to be outside getting ready to plant, isn't it. The weather here in Nebraska is much warmer than it's supposed to be. The temps are running in the 60s and 70s when it should be in the 50s. Night time is still in the lower 30s and even though it feels like things could be planted, it's not time yet. The soil temperature is up to 49 degrees which is warm enough for potatoes which are supposed to be planted on Good Friday which is only a couple weeks away. The potatoes are ready to be planted and I'll maybe do that this next week. I started the tomatoes and green peppers on the heat mat yesterday in flats. I really haven't had much luck with the peat pellets. In about two or three weeks the starts will be big enough to transplant into regular two inch square fiber pots. A month later they will either be planted in the garden or graduate into bigger plastic drinking cups for late frost or other bad weather backups. There's lots of work this time of the year. ***** Have a great raised bed building/seed starting day.

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