Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is It Salsa Yet?

Come join the whole gang for Saturday Night Special over at
Funky Junk Interiors!

I'm joining everyone over at Between Naps On The Porch for another Metamorphosis Monday!
Come on over with all your favorite makeovers, DIY projects, show us what you've been up to.

I picked a spot right off of the kitchen patio for a vegetable garden three seasons ago, but with our
really bad clay soil it needed a major makeover.  The amount of amendments required each year to make the soil workable and a bout of vintage tomato blight last year made this the year to make
the move to raised beds.

There are only two of us here on a regular basis, so it isn't truck farm size, but at 20' x 20' has proved just about the right size for daily picking and putting up things for use through the winter months.

We've had a very rainy April and May, so the project stretched over several weeks until I could
finally actually plant something.  Materials we used to build the 3 raised beds:

44 Landscape timbers from Lowe's
12" spikes and strapping leftover from our paver patios
4' lengths of rebar
Native boulders from our property
14 yds of composted organic topsoil
3 hose bibs and pvc pipe
3 soaker hoses

And the main ingredient to the success of this project was our little orange tractor.
Most of the projects we've done in the last three years would have been impossible without it.

Since I didn't want to have the raised beds sticking up so high in the air and because
I wanted to get rid of the soil where the prior planting had been done, we removed
about 16" over the entire 20' x 20' space. It was too muddy to move it to the back of our
property, so it lived on the side patio for awhile ..... way too long for my taste, but it was
soon gone.

Once we had the original soil removed, this is what we started with.

The 12" spikes, the rebar and the black strapping was used to stabilize each of the three raised beds, so they won't shift over time.

We filled each of the beds with the tractor, before moving on to the next one because
of easy access.  Worked like a dream and I couldn't get them planted fast enough!
Two down and just one more to go.

And the third one is in.

We used wire mesh, cardboard and boulders at each end of the beds.  I still have to plant
herbs and other creeping things in all the cracks between the rocks/boulders and along the
front edge along side the gravel path.  It is on my to do list!

I'm pleased with the low-profile and minimal visual impact of the raised beds we accomplished
by lowering the pad on which the beds are built. There is a path between the existing bed along the back wall and the first raised bed, in addition to paths between each of the two other beds which
are approximately 16' x 3' of actual planting space.  Even with unseasonable monsoon rains, wind and hail, the garden is beginning to become established.

I am so loving the working at waist level, it just is a world of difference and of
course working with great soil is making life wonderful too!

I chose to cut the existing automatic sprinkler connections to this area and
had Mr. TLRT install 3 hose bibs for me (still need to paint up those icky white pvc pipes),
to which I attached your basic soaker hoses.  It gives me a lot more control on the amount
of water applied to the veggies and when it is applied than being committed to the
schedule decreed by the automatic sprinklers. Sometimes simpler is better.

Just breathe in deeply ...... can you stand it? ..... it's better than perfume!

There are half a dozen types of peppers almost ready for picking!

Itty bitty tomatillas!

Mostly just strawberries, herbs, tomatoes, onions and peppers in this garden.
Daily use and packing things away for winter use ...... if I don't stop pulling the
onions as scallions there won't be enough for any of this.

Salsa ........... absolutely a main food group at our house.
This was from a couple of seasons ago and is the bounty I'm trying to replicate.

What are your veggie garden favorites? What are you growing this year?

Thanks for coming by to visit my new veggie garden ....... can I say again,
raised beds are the best thing I've done in years and years!


  1. Hi, visiting from the party and I'm so glad I did. That's a huge undertaking and all of your hard work is already paying off. I have never had a vegetable garden but sure do love the harvest from them.

  2. You've done a great job! DH has been talking about a garden for years, but we never live where we can have one. No sunny spot!

    I hope you'll drop by to see the gorgeous kitchen JaneF posted for Met Monday, #1 Link. Don't forget to register for our giveaway if you haven't already!


  3. These raised beds are great! I love to grow vegetables but have never tried a raised bed before. Thanks for sharing your photos!


  4. My aching back would really appreciate raised beds like yours. They are just beautiful!

  5. wonderful, love the use of rock. i gave up on veggies, to many rattlesnakes like their shade... maybe your wall keeps them out~

  6. Wow! I'm very impressed and know it must have been SO much work. I'm planting herbs and cherry tomatoes in pots on our back deck. We have deer, fox, skunk, bears, turkey and other wilde beasts I don't even want to know about in our back yard. (Hey, that's an abundance of protein! :-) This city gal would not venture to walk to a garden and doubts there would be anything left.

    Love yours!

  7. Hi Candy! Oh, what a lovely raised garden! It looks wonderful and so healthy! Your veggies from before are so lovely and hope you get some veggies that pretty this year.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  8. Fantastic garden! Yummy looking and so pretty too.

    Blessings to you this evening. ~Melissa :)

  9. Beautiful garden, your plants look so healthy. I bet you get lots of goodies soon. Thanks for sharing.

  10. It really is a pleasure to go check on all my little plants each day ...... and did I tell you how very easy it is to see and pull any weeds when they are waist high! All the quail that live in my back garden were quite perturbed when I starting planting in this nice fluffy soil. They had been taking regular "sand baths" in the beds when there was still open soil. :-)

    No rattlers since that first year here in the garden ...... that first fall my former indoor cat Homer confronted a great big three footer .... it was extremely frightening trying to lure him to safety. He just had no clue what the thing was. Then that next Spring we found three baby rattlers, but none inside the garden since then. Fingers crossed!

    The bane of my existence in the old garden was a huge colony of ground squirrels and an equally huge colony of pocket gophers ...... they devoured thousands of dollars worth of plants in the 8 years we were there.

    I hope you all come back to the garden for another visit soon. I'll be posting most garden related things over at my sister blog Happenstance Garden which is listed on my sidebar.


  11. Hi, I love the idea of a raised bed garden. You did a great job and I hope you have a great growing season!

  12. I found your blog on Met. Monday and I'm soooo glad I did. I blog about our garden too, although it is a work in progress. Stop by for a Latte' and check it out. Happy to be your newest follower!!!

  13. I thank you all for coming by to see my latest garden project and here's hoping we all have great harvests this year. There is nothing better in this world than a warm tomato just picked from the garden!


  14. Love the idea of raised beds for vegetables. My husband does the veggie garden, and I do the flowers. Looking forward to some tomatoes for salsa.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Thanks for stopping by Debbie, flowers are my real interest also.....but one has to eat also! LOL


  16. Wow, what beautiful surroundings you have! And yeah... that garden? Spectacular! Tractor isn't so bad either. :)

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

  17. LOL Donna, how did I know you'd love the tractor??? It is after all just a BIG power tool!
    And projects are all about the tools one has .... right tools just about guarantee success. :-)


  18. Great job! I know how much work that is! I'm married to a tomato farmer!!! You are gonna just love harvest! marcia

  19. Lucky you Marcia ...... and endless supply of summer goodness! Thanks for coming by.



Thank you for your lovely comments.

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