Lets just say, It’s been a process to get my backyard into working condition. We purchased the house last October and immediately knew we had a space with incredible potential. The 50 x 50 backyard lot is a city dwellers dream garden, but the landscaping (or lack there of) was underwhelming and it was left seriously overgrown, with a jungle of weeds, vines, and untended brush to clear.
As we spent the winter months dreaming of our perfect backyard, it was very clear that we needed to start with a blank canvas. This turned out to be a lot of work and yet it was an incredible blessing at the same time. Our dream garden will be exactly as we pictured it, without the need to take a previous design into consideration.
In early June, with all the brush cleared and the hazardous structures removed I could mow the lawn for the first time. I stood back when I was finished and marveled in the space and all we had accomplished. I can’t tell you how many wonderful neighbors we’ve had come by and call to us over the fence.
“Its so nice to see someone back here”
“You guys have done an incredible job, what are you planning to do?”
“We’re so happy to have a neighbor who cares about this lot”
We’ve met so many people and become a part of the neighborhood simply by putting in the effort to enjoy our backyard, and its been absolutely rewarding in many ways.
I’m so proud of all we’ve accomplished thus far, and I love to see the transformation we’ve made already. We decided to construct three raised beds this year, with the space and potential to add more in coming years. We’re a little behind the train as far as the growing season is concerned, but truthfully it may have been for the better because the evening temperature has been grazing the frost line even into the beginning of June.
Our raised beds are made of Cedar, its important to make note of it for those of you in the planning stages because these beds will see A LOT of water and they need to be made of a material that will not rot. We chose to make our beds 4 ft wide and 8 ft long. You can easily make your beds longer than this to account for more veggies, but 4 ft wide is a good width to abide by; its a comfortable width because you can easily reach every inch of the bed from either side.
On a side note, Is my dog Chet the cutest little garden companion or what?!
The beds are 12 inches deep to ensure a long distance for any unruly weeds to travel in addition to the layer of cardboard across the bed floor. Filling the bed up with soil was a large task. I didn’t realize HOW MUCH soil we would actually need to get each bed filled. The most difficult part was the purchase ($$$) and the transport of soil, but on the bright side you’ll only have to do it once to each of the beds.
What you’ll need to make one 4′ x 8′ bed:
- (2) 4 ft long Cedar Boards totaling 12 inches deep
- (4) 1.5 ft long 4”x 4” Cedar posts
- (2) 8 ft long Cedar Boards totaling 12 inches deep
- (~24) Long Screws
- 30 cubic feet of soil
As I mentioned in a previous post, starters from your local farmers market are a great way to have strong plants to place in the ground when you’re unable to grow them from seed indoors. There are a lot of vegetables that SHOULD be planted from seed outdoors, so be sure to do your research to know for certain.
I’m incredibly happy to have plants in the ground, and a backyard that I’m excited about spending time in. We’ve accomplished a lot with our home in less than one year and I’m really looking forward to gathering with friends and family over garden-grown produce from our backyard.
From Garden to Table and Stranger to Neighbor.