I'm embarking on a brand new-to me project: backyard gardening!
I've experimented with patio gardening on my apartment balconies and had decent results, but water management is so touchy in containers, especially in the Georgia mid to late summer heat. Even watering twice a day wasn't enough to keep my plants alive. We had a handful of fresh tomatoes early in the season, which was wonderful when it lasted.
Now that we have a house, I'm trying to move my gardening to a slightly larger container - a raised bed planter! Over the weekend, my husband and I bought planks from Lowe's and built the frame.
The frame concept came from a landscaping book. The PVC piping for the hoops came from the plumbing section at the hardware store. I had to put bird netting over the top because I discovered squirrels digging in my pots! I don't know what they were foraging for, but they were definitely doing exploratory searching. I put my containers safely inside. I'll trim the net to be more neatly fitted after I've finished filling with soil.
The cost ended up not being much different than buying the raised planter kits at the hardware stores, but my box is almost twice as large. The kit was 48"x48"x6" (8 cubic ft) and mine is 60"x36"x12" (15 cubic feet). The deeper depth means I have the option of trying to grow root veggies like carrots, which need a minimum depth of 8" (depending on variety). [Edit: I found a mini variety that only needs 4"! I'll start with this one as a test run to see how it works in actual practice.]
These are all the plants that are going in it:
I call it a 'salsa salad garden' because my plants are all components for salsa or a salad! Bell pepper, jalapeno, 3 different types of tomatoes, lettuce and assorted herbs: cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Lettuce season is short in Georgia - I will only be able to grow it until about late April/early May. We'll enjoy it while it lasts!
Oh, and there is catnip for the cats!
The taller plants will go in the middle where the largest arch is. Smaller plants will go along the side walls. I'm intrigued by the idea of adding irrigation, but I probably won't do it this year. I want to see how this goes, and how best to implement it.
I bought landscaping fabric to line the bottom of the box. It should allow drainage and keep weeds from growing into it. Yesterday it rained, so it was too wet to attach it to the box. I'll see if it's dry enough today. If I can install the bottom today, then I'll start filling it with soil.
I'm definitely getting exercise with the garden box and yard work. Yesterday I weeded the front and back yard. I've spent my fair share of time in gyms with personal trainers, and I tell you what, I am as sore as any gym workout! Last night I built up a nice appetite, and slept very well. A gym isn't the only place to get fit. Our grandparents were fit, and they never stepped in a gym! If you work your muscles to soreness, then it was good exercise.
Do any of you have raised bed veggie gardens? Any of you garden pros have tips?