Monday, June 6, 2011

Creating a small kitchen garden

It is June and I know it is a little late to be thinking about a kitchen garden, but here in the Northwest our spring was cold and wet. It was not a typical spring and certainly not a spring for building a small raised bed. In the last week the weather has dried enough to work the ground, mow the lawns and contemplate sowing seeds. With any luck this part of the world will see a summer and reap the benefits of a carefully planned kitchen garden.
My garden beds started out in the form of four uncut 2x4 lengths of lumber. Each length was eight feet, was cut in half and was nailed together to create a four foot by four foot square.
Once the frame was completed I placed a cardboard liner inside the frame and then covered the cardboard with untreated landscape fabric/weed barrier.
After lining my garden bed with the landscape fabric, I filled the area with a mix of steer manure, top soil, sand, pearlite, compost, alfalfa pellets, and a blend of nursery soil. I filled the frame so that the soil was approximately 4 inches deep.
It is my hope that this small garden spot will serve as a good location to grow lettuce, herbs, and chard. I plan to start a few summer squash and cucumbers in these beds, but I know that I will have to transplant them to another location. Cucumbers and squash need more area for their vines to spread.
My  tomatoes, beans, peas and cilantro will be grown in containers and I will feature them in later post.

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