Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Planting My First Vegetable Garden

Now that we have moved into our first house we can actually do things like plant an amazing veggie garden!  We attempted last year to grow a “garden” on our deck… two pots.  It actually went fairly well considering we paid $1.00 per bag of dirt and hauled the “garden” half-way across the state in our move to the city. 

When we purchased the house (at a time when the yard was covered in snow) I was plotting where I would put our real garden.  The thought of being able to go outside and pick fresh tomatoes, onions, or peas to use for dinner just excited the heck out of me.  Also, it went with my personal push towards becoming greener.  I also desperately want to compost to go along with the green-initiative-thing but the hubby is not convinced so I guess for now I will settle for a garden.

To my surprise when the snow melted I found this little beauty right off our back deck.

It is a raised bed garden filled with luscious dirt!  This means that I can have a garden without putting the work (or a ton of extra money) to get it set up!

After I called my mother for reinforcements and had the hubby till up the soil I was good to go to start planning and planting my new garden.

You see, I do not have much (okay any) experience planting gardens.  If it were left up to me I would throw in the seeds and see what happened.  Unfortunately I think I would end up with a whole lot of nothing to bring in to eat for dinner.

I started out by selecting the types of goodies I wanted to grow and ended up with onions, garlic, lettuce, spinach, green beans, green onions, peas, and carrots.  After planting I had some left over seeds, which I will keep to use in next year's garden.  

We then plotted out a map of our 18 foot by 4 foot garden.  We looked at what plants liked shade, which liked sun, and how far apart each seed row had to be from each other.  Apparently plants need space between their rows….who knew?  Afterwards we ended up with a map that would be out guide during the planting process. 

Next, we took a string and measured out the spacing 18 feed lengthwise to help us measure how spaced out our rows should be from each other.  We used a marker to color the string to indicate how far apart the spinach should be from the lettuce, the lettuce from the beans, etc. which corresponded to our garden map.

To mark which vegetable rows were which, because I would never know without a guide, we wrote with permanent markers on craft sticks that we would stick in the dirt as we planted our rows.

We then got out our gardening tools and raked the garden so all the dirt was even and the clumps were out.

After, we grabbed our handy string as our guide to help us know which rows of veggies went where.  We used another string across the 4 foot width of our garden to help us make our rows of veggie seeds straight.  

To measure how far the seeds went down (which is on the back of the packaging along with how far apart the rows should be from each other and how far apart the seeds should be in each row) I made a measuring stick out of a paint stirrer.  I desperately wanted the $15 trowel that had inch marks on the tip, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend the cash so I made a free one instead. 

After 4-ish hours of working our butts off we had plotted, hoed, planted, and marked the whole garden.  It looks pretty much like the it did before, except with popsicle sticks labeled “garlic” and “onions” arising from the soil.  Now the fun begins – watching it grow!


  1. Jer Bear is also on his garden game this year! He has dug up a second garden, and bought a whole new fencing system, hose and compost bin. And Cath gets to research optimum compost usage!

  2. Oh my gosh he is really on the ball! When is he going to come to my house and judge how well I did with my garden? PS it is already starting to come up :)!


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