Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoon in a Raised Bed

A couple of years ago we built this raised bed. It sits nestled in between an apple tree and a plum tree. The trees aren't so big that they shade out this little bed, so it's an ideal situation. The planting space is small, and has sides so I can sit on the edges and pull weeds or run my fingers through the feathery-soft carrot greens. I also have a perch for when I'm busy gathering leaf lettuce for a salad bowl.

After the winter snow melts, this is what the raised bed looks like. Forgotten, weedy and definitely not salad dressing worthy! It doesn't take long, though, to whip the little bed into shape.

I picked up this nine-pack of head lettuce at the local Agway last week. I usually grow ours in the greenhouse but these were such a pretty shade of green I was compelled to bring them home.

As usual, Piglet supervised my gardening chores. Isn't she just the sweetest thing?

In addition to the lettuce I purchased, the bed will shelter seeds. I always grow lettuce and carrots in this bed. Nothing else, just lettuce and carrots. It works so well it seems silly to try anything new here. Every year we have more of these two veggies than we can use, and share the excess with friends and family. Hard to believe so much comes out of one small area, isn't it?

First, I pulled out the weeds. Then, I used my heart hoe to turn the soil over. I added a couple of flowerpotfuls of soil from last year's pumpkin patch so the bed became fluffy and light rather than compacted and lumpy. It didn't take long to work the soil, and the time I spent with my hands in the dirt was peaceful and relaxing.

These are carrot seeds. I chose a variety called "Short 'N Sweet" for this year's garden.

Do you see the six rows I drew in the soil? They're for the carrots. Once the first six lines begin to grow, I'll draw six more between them and plant a later crop of carrots. For now, the first lines go in and get a half-inch of soil on top of the seeds.

These blurry, black spots are lettuce seeds. I like "Simpson Elite" for summer sandwiches, so that's what I've got here.

Those two lines, twelve inches apart, are for the Simpson lettuce. The seeds require just a scant covering of soil. Again, I'll plant a row between these two later in the season.

Finally, I planted the nine heads of lettuce at the top of the bed. The soil was so soft, I just tucked them in with my gloved fingertips.

It didn't take hardly any time at all to exchange my weeds for lettuce and carrots. I watered the bed down, gathered my tools and walked away with a big smile on my face. I know that it won't be long before we're harvesting our salad fixings from this small space. Gardening is just so rewarding, don't you think?

So, how did you spend your Sunday afternoon?


Dru said...

That is so cool. Wow. I can't wait to see the first sprout of veggies. I love the red wagon.

My Sunday afternoon was spent in breathing the ocean air.

Have a great Monday.

Sue W. said...

You make me wish I could have a graden of my own. Just beautiful, thanks for sharing with us.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I would LOVE to a veggie garden!

I did plant some impatients and marigolds this weekend though.

Marianne Arkins said...

I'm waiting for it to cool down to work on my garden! LOL... I love your raised bed. I love spring!

Melissa McClone said...

Lucky you! You'll be enjoying yummy salads and veggies all summer long!