gardening thoughts #1: you can’t have just one raised bed

Welcome to the first of many posts about my garden ponderings. These are meant to be short takes on the things that I’m learning from gardening. Some of them may be practical for you and others might be funny takes one what I’m seeing.

I have a confession to make.

Raised garden beds are addictive.

When we bought the house, my plan was to confine my gardening pursuits to the back patio. Unfortunately, the patio doesn’t get enough light to support my dream. So, I got two raised beds for the front yard. Both beds are 3×3 feet. Perfectly adequate.

However… By the middle of summer, I already knew that I wanted at least two more garden beds for next year. I need more space for strawberries and herbs. Plus, who wouldn’t want space for more tomato plants?

Just in time for fall/end of summer planting, Justin assembled and filled two more raised beds for the front yard. I plan on planting spinach, carrots, and snap peas to take advantage of the rest of the growing season. Then I’ll plant garlic for next year around the time of our first frost.

If you’re keeping track, I’m up to four garden beds now. But that’s not the end of my front yard plans. I still have room for one tall and small rectangular bed to run along with our patio. This will give me the space I need — yes, need — for blackberry and raspberry bushes. Justin doesn’t know about this one yet, but he’s supportive of my hobbies since he directly benefits from them.

You might be wondering why I use raised beds instead of directly planting into the ground. There are three reasons. First, I like the way that raised garden beds look. It gives the whole garden a sense of order and peace. Related to that, they limit (in a good way) the number of plants that I can grow at any given time. I have a habit of taking on way too much and this helps reign me in and forces me to focus my plans.

More importantly, I don’t feel comfortable planting in the ground because our house was built where the old airport once stood. I don’t really know the quality of the soil and don’t want to go through the work of testing and amending it to make it safe for growing. Since I choose the soil for the raised beds, I know exactly what my plants are growing in.

With a relatively small front yard, I’m pretty much out of space for additional raised garden beds. This is probably for the best since I only have so much time to commit to the garden with the little one. Plus, I’m a relatively new gardener and I still have a lot to learn about how to help my plants thrive.

Stay tuned for more gardening thoughts!

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