Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Garden Box Garden

I'm so proud. I worked extra hard on the garden this year to get it where it is. It's not quite where I'd like to see it but it's close. :)

I started out this year planning out the expansion of the garden and figuring out just how many more boxes we would need. Now if you've never gardened in a box you have got to try it. I was a long time ground planter, since I was little. We would till up part of my parents back yard every year and plant our plants directly in the ground, what I call a ground planter. Since I've discovered boxes I can't get away from them. I absoultly love them. It's so much easier than ground planting.

It all starts off with your box. You can really use anything, at least I do. I have some pallets that I've recycled into boxes and some plain pallets out there as well. I have two the I have left all the pallet boards in and just laid them down so that the side with the least amount of boards shows, this gives you more growing space and is fine for planting things that have smaller, shallower root systems. I planted lettuce in one and herbs in the other. Most of my boxes are made from upcycled wood pieces from house construction left overs and even some boards from an old waterbed. This year we were out of long feesible wood to upcycle so I had to come up with and economical - (in other words cheap)- way to build some new boxes.

I did this using dog eared cedar fence pickets. They worked out really well and are only about $1.50 - $2 a picket. I made four boxes for about $17-20 not including the soil. I bought 10 - 72" fence pickets. You need 5 pickets to make 2 boxes. This is how I did it:

These boxes make my gardening life so much easier. To get ready this year I added compost to the previous years boxes and turned them, mixing the compost into the soil...easy peasy! And the best part is no fighting with the tilling and the rocks in the ground. Now sure it's not easy the first year or when you expand, I remove all the grass before I put boxes down, but after the first year you'll love it. I also find that my plants grow much better in boxes. I probably should have leveled out the ground but I didn't really bother with that as long as there wasn't a significant gap between the ground and the box. This years boxes I filled with a mix of top soil and garden soil in a 2:1 ratio.
Here's what it looks like so far this year:

The wheelbarrow idea I saw on Pinterest and I had an old one that was just rotting away out by the garden so I figured I'd give it a go. Hopefully the flowers in there fill out more. You can see our rain barrel, the green round thing, and some buckets and totes that I used for moving things around. In the front of the garden is some squash, garlic (planted in the ground...well it just came up from no where so I left it), chives, parsley and a strawberry plant. In the back where the lattice is there are peas and where the wire cages are is tomatoes. Eventually basil will be planted in there for some companion gardening. Then there is a box for cucumbers, one for mint, tarragon, celantro, rosemary, and dill. A box for leeks (which survived the winter), parsnips, and carrots. Another for beans, onions and spinach. A box for more beans and eggplant. One whole box for peppers, and another whole box for lettuce. Then where there are no boxes I am yet again attempting to grow corn, yellow corn and strawberry popcorn corn. I have yet to have luck with corn, keeping my fingers crossed that this will be different this year.
So there's my garden. It's taken me a good weeks worth of work to get it all set up and mostly planted. I have a few seedlings that are still to small to be planted and some didn't make it. So I will like be planting those next weekend and eventually buying plants to replace the one's I lost. I'll try to keep you up to date on how things are going so you can see just how wonderful things are in boxes.

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