the garden is finished

Mom came over on Friday and finished building my little garden! Henry helped, too. I felt really horrible that day so I mostly just watched but I did plant the zucchini seeds.

The planter box is about 7.5′ x 2.5′ x 6″. We had to buy quite a bit of dirt. Mom dug a pit about a foot deep, maybe a foot and a half. Then she picked out all the sod so we had a lot of decent dirt left over to go back into the hole. I’m lucky — the dirt under my yard was unusually nice for San Diego dirt. It’s real dirt, not just sand or clay, and even had some worms in it! It must have been trucked in when the house was built.

Anyway, I am thinking we bought about 6 bags of “amend”, 1 bag of steer manure, 4 bags of topsoil, maybe a couple more. Mom dumped the bags out in layers, alternating with plain old yard dirt dug from the pit, got it all wet, mixed it very well by turning it with the shovel, then tamped it down to get all the air pockets out. The resulting bed is beautifully moist and springy, and smells divine.

Total cost, including lumber, dirt, seedlings, and tomato cages was right around $100.

Here’s Mom evening out the dirt:

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Mom planting a tomato:

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Henry planting a bell pepper:

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Me planting zucchini seeds:

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The garden! Two tomato plants, four clumps of Swiss chard, a bell pepper, a clump of cilantro, and two plantings of zucchini seeds at the end:

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Category: Blog 6 comments »

6 Responses to “the garden is finished”

  1. Annie

    Looks great!!

  2. Kathy

    Hey Kara – what are the dimensions and how much dirt did you have to buy? I would love to do a raised bed like that.

  3. Kristin

    I’m so jealous! Our garden is just a few little sprouts that can’t go in the ground yet because it’s still too cold.

  4. kara

    Hey Annie, Kristin, Kathy!

    The planter box is about 7.5′ x 2.5′ x 6″. We had to buy quite a bit of dirt. Mom dug a pit about a foot deep, maybe a foot and a half. Then she picked out all the sod so we had a lot of decent dirt left over to go back into the hole. I’m lucky — the dirt under my yard was unusually nice for San Diego dirt. It’s real dirt, not just sand or clay, and even had some worms in it! It must have been trucked in when the house was built.

    Anyway, I am thinking we bought about 6 bags of “amend”, 1 bag of steer manure, 4 bags of topsoil, maybe a couple more. Mom dumped the bags out in layers, alternating with plain old yard dirt dug from the pit, got it all wet, mixed it very well by turning it with the shovel, then tamped it down to get all the air pockets out. The resulting bed is beautifully moist and springy, and smells divine.

    Total cost, including lumber, dirt, seedlings, and tomato cages was right around $100.

    I’d better stick all this in the actual post!

  5. Kathy

    Thank you for the details! I’m going to start agitating to make something like that.

    We had 5 tomato plants last year, plus the herbs I grow in pots on the back patio, and that was a lot of fun so I want to expand a bit this year. Last year I foolishly set my cute little tomato sprouts between some recently-pruned rose bushes and the fence. I didn’t realize that when the tomatoes grew, they would be huge tangled sprawling things that would engulf and knock over the puny tomato cages I had bought and would not be a nice backdrop to the roses.

    Amazingly I had failed to foresee that the roses would, by midsummer, fill out and create a fearsome thorny barricade that I would have to breach each time I wanted to pick tomatoes.

    Other than that it was a great idea. ;-)

    So this year I am (hopefully) going to put the “garden” out away from the roses and maybe expand it a little. Roses are nice, but there’s something elementally satisfying about eating food you’ve grown.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Beth Wallace

    Hey Kara, great-looking garden! It’s a lot of work to make beds like those, but really worth it in the end.


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