It probably goes without saying, but it’s difficult to have a vegetable garden without garden beds.
Unfortunately, being seven months pregnant isn’t doing my lower back or hips any favors, so depending on the nature of the task, I either have to take it in small chunks or leave it in the hands of someone who is, for the time being, more physically capable than I am.
My husband essentially forbade me from doing anything involving a shovel because he’s seen me try to walk to the bathroom from our bed at night after I’ve overdone it. We also both knew that he’d be able to get the garden beds tilled up in far less time and with much less physical difficulty.
When we got a nice day recently, he went out and got the grass out of the garden beds for me. Did you know that a husband doing a project for his wife is pretty sexy? Well, it is.
The next project in need of doing was putting compost in the beds. We have a free resource for compost made with horse manure and people’s yard waste right now (and I intend to start my own compost pile in the next couple of months for further continued free compost), but it required borrowing a truck and shoveling the compost into and back out of the bed of said truck.
The stars aligned, and decent weather, one of my husband’s days off, and my dad’s truck being available all happened at once only a few days after the beds had been dug out. Hello beautiful compost.
You can see in this picture that the two beds look different. The right one has a layer of raw compost on top of the dirt. It hasn’t been touched since my hubby shoveled it on yesterday.
The left one has had the compost turned into the dirt, so the soil lightened the color. I also turned in some lime because we tend to have acidic soil here. Our constant rain tends to wash out the mineral that raise pH, and we also have evergreen trees galore. Broken-down evergreen needles and such tend to be acidic. Vegetables tend to like slightly acidic soil, so the lime is supposed to bring the pH into the preferred range. There are easy home tests available to double check the pH.
Yes, I know the beds still look messy. We really need to mow (the weather has not cooperated with Steven’s days off quite enough; there’s a difference between being dry enough to dig a garden and being dry enough to mow long grass). I’m also debating what to do with the sod we pulled out. It often decomposes well when placed roots-up; had I created the beds in the fall, I would have done that and then simply placed dark plastic over them to prevent weed growth. Or I could toss them in the yard waste bin and let the city worry about it.
So what’s next? Planting onions and carrots after I confirm an acceptable pH, probably. Then hardening off and planting out the lettuce and broccoli, which is more cold tolerant. I’ll finish planting them with the plants that don’t tolerate cool or frost very well at all, and then get ready to have a baby while everything works on growing.
How are your garden preparations going?