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Planting a Garden


This is a new type of “project” for me: planting a garden. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now since I have a bit of land of my own, and finally it’s come to fruition.

Constructing It

I went with a raised-bed garden, which means I made some 4 foot by 8 foot frames out of untreated 2x8s, and within the frames I added some organic soil to the native soil and mixed them together. Around the outside of the garden, I put up a fence to hinder critters from helping themselves to the fruits of my labor.

Near that fence I also put in a few viney-plants so that they could climb to their hearts’ content.

What Have I Learned?

I only have a few gardening tips to share so far, but I’m sure I’ll learn more quickly (since I’ll likely fail quickly :).

  • Don’t plant melons near cucumbers or squash: they’ll cross-pollinate and you’ll get some interesting-but-probably-unusable fruits. Same with tomatoes and peppers.
  • Soil pH matters: most veggies like neutral to slightly acidic soil (pH of 6.5 – 7). Lime can be used to neutralize soil acidity which comes from fertilizer (manure and chemical fertilizers), but it shouldn’t be used at the same time as fertilizer to avoid causing a reaction in the soil which the plants probably wouldn’t enjoy.
  • Mothballs can be put down chipmunk and mole holes to ward them off. There are a number of plants, like marigold, that can be used to repel certain insect pests also.
  • How do you know when your veggies are ripe? This is something that I think comes primarily with experience. But taste-testing is about the only sure fire way. When in doubt, Google it.

The pics above were taken in early June, and it’s now July… I’ll try to remember to post some more pics when I start harvesting. Everything’s already much bigger! I ate a salad the other day made entirely from homegrown romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, and tomatoes, and it was delicious. I don’t even like tomatoes that much, but I figured, heck, I grew ’em, so I’m gonna eat ’em.