Getting started on the garden this year consists of boxes.
The south side of my home is still ideal for the garden, both in terms of sun and convenience. But the containers I used last year are not; they were too restrictive. I’m building raised beds for the area instead. I’d much rather have my plants growing in direct contact with the ground; their roots will have plenty of room to expand, drainage will be much better, and worms will be able to get into the boxes. The beds are designed to be temporary because I haven’t settled on exactly how I want the south side arranged. One of these days, I’ll decide how I want to layout the porch, the walk way and the permanent beds. But there’s no reason to interrupt the growing of food while making these plans.
The west side of the house is also a good spot for growing. Up until now it’s been dominated by perennials left over from the previous owners. So I gave the west side a solid reworking: removed the perennials down to the bulbs, built three raised beds, and laid down a thick layer of compost.
There’s absolutely nothing special about how I built these beds. They’re just simple boxes made from pallet slats, old 2x4s and assorted other leftover wood. The goal isn’t to invest great time or effort into the craftsmanship of these boxes. It’s to build them quick and sturdy so I can invest great time and effort into growing food.
The weather is still cool and rainy. Honest Spring weather. But I’ve gone ahead and sown seeds for Arugula and Red Russian Kale in the west side beds. Both plants are cold hardy. I could’ve successfully gotten them in the ground a few weeks ago and, even if they had begun to sprout and been hit with our last bout of snow, they would’ve been fine. Later on, I’ll be planting Watermelon Radishes and some variety of Cucumber in these beds as well.
I also seeded Arugula, Red Russian Kale, Garden Sorrel, and a Deluxe Mesculin Mix in sill boxes on the porch. Growing greens just ten steps outside the kitchen makes gathering something fresh to eat every day incredibly easy. One of my favorite ways to grow food.
I was done with Winter months ago. Working soil with bare hands and getting these first seeds planted feels incredibly satisfying.