I am excited to have started a little garden at my new home. I have started a lot of gardens, and I this one was blog worthy to me because I put it together in an hour, and spent very little money on it. It is certainly modest, but for anyone out there who has a small space, or limited time and money, this is a great way to go.
My journeys have brought me to an adorable farmhouse called Bluebird Ranch. The owner of this little homestead aspires to create a retreat for those with PTSD. My agreement is to help her around the place in trade for rent.
Today, I worked on a small garden. I chose an open, sunny area on relatively flat ground. This neighborhood is notorious for boulders in the ground because of its proximity to an old goldmine, so tilling was not recommended. Over all, building a garden above ground is ideal because often construction scraps are left in yards, and you have more control over the health of the soil. Untreated cedar is an ideal wood to build a garden bed, but this was not available, so I just gathered some logs from around the property for temporary beds ( pictures below). I took some newspaper and scrunched it up to place underneath the gaps in the wood to prevent water from washing away the soil.
Ideally, I would have used a ground cover like a tarp or bed of leaves during the winter in the area I wanted to grow in to kill the grass, and begin building the soil. This wasn’t possible, so I gathered leaves and made a very thick layer of them to start killing the grass. Cardboard would have also been an option, but I think the leaves will do the trick. Over the top of the leaves I put some natural compost, horse manure from our pasture. Any light layer of compost would do, and I have even seen people put food directly into this layer of the garden bed.
The next layer was some potting soil that I did purchase, organically of course. This bed is organic excepting the newspaper. That is basically it, my housemate bought a few starts and I popped them in. I put the tomatoes in the back, since they will be the tallest, and some peppers on the next row since they like a little light shading in my experience. We have more seeds to put in, and will do a few more beds, but that is my simple garden bed. I have also constructed a simple compost to start making soil, if you all are interested I will blog about that next.
The thing I love about this, is that it shows you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to start your garden, and it is super fun and rewarding! I really enjoyed feeling the abundance of the earth offering everything we need to live. It is easy to feel grateful when you realize everything you need is out there waiting to be incorporated into the the garden of life!
*the triangular shape was not fully intended, it just happened. It is ok as long as it is not too big to reach the inside space, but the next beds will be circular or rectangular
*I tried to get the soil/compost about 5inches off the ground, and in my next bed I did a layer of twigs to improve drainage
I will update this post with some pics from our harvest in a couple months 🙂