Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Changes for 2010

Each year I try to expand the vegetable garden a little bit more. The first year in our home I didn’t have time to put together a garden before the growing season started and we missed out on any vegetable garden.

The "L" Shaped Raised Beds:

The second year I put together a set of raised beds that were arranged in an “L” shape. The idea was neat but I left grass around the beds that I had to mow around and it became very difficult to keep the area neat. “L” shaped beds would work great if you have a nice low groundcover – like thyme – or some sort of mulch (either hardwood or gravel based) to replace the grass.

Potager Vegetable Garden with Raised Beds:

In 2009 I got smarter. I rearranged the raised beds into a grid with a combination of small raised beds, large raised beds, and two large in ground planting areas. 2009's raised bed vegetable garden was a very good and functional layout. It allowed me to move around all the beds easily (until the cherry tomatoes went wild and took over) and was pretty good for arranging my soaker hose irrigation system.

Raised Bed Changes for 2010:

This year I’ll improve on the previous garden layout by adding a few more beds. There’s no need for a remake I’ll just change the two large ground beds into four 10’x2’ beds and add an extra long bed for perennials like strawberries.

Vegetable Garden Layout Raised Bed

I’ve debated on the strawberry situation as the runners always seem to want to take over the garden – and maybe the world (it could worse, it could be kudzu!). My second option for the strawberries would be to create a completely new bed for them somewhere else in the yard but that might be problematic when the annual invasion of the bunnies begins.

Raised beds are one of the greatest things you can do to increase your chances of success in the backyard vegetable garden (if you want to see why take a look at the Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening and if want advice on building a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden here are some things to think about!).  This is just the basic layout of the vegetable garden and I intend to get more specific soon by putting together a diagram of where everything was last year and where I want things to be this year.  Crop rotation is something I try to practice but it’s not always practical – especially when you try to squeeze too many tomato plants into the garden!

You’ve never been guilty of planting too many tomatoes have you? ;)

7 comments :

  1. That looks like a very sensible and attractive layout, Dave. We'll be adding raised edges to our little allotment beds next year... but ours are strictly two rectangles, end to end. I wish you many merry vegetables!

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  2. Raised beds are so good. Yup, been guilty of planting too many tomato plants and of planting too little. Let's see if I can get it right this year.

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  3. It is looking so good Dave! I love how it is growing each year, but still looks both attractive and functional. We used to plant too many tomatoes every single year until last year, and that mainly because of the crop freeze of the ones started inside that were planted out too early. We are older and wiser now. :-)
    Frances

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  4. So organized! On a much smaller scale, this is what I want to do this year (make a raised bed and do a LITTLE veggie gardening)

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  5. I always look forward to this particular post each year to see the layout for your raised beds. You have accomplished so much and it has been a pleasure to watch. All the best for a great new year of growing.

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  6. Great looking design. As Jodi mentioned, it's very organized. I am trying to slowly (but hopefully surely) convert my mostly in-ground garden to raised beds over time. I keep adding a few each year. How deep do you typically make yours?

    Strawberries can become evasive, just like mint. I planted some mint in a bed in my front yard 12 years ago, and now have a mint front yard. And that's after pulling it up for 11 years. At least it smells good when I cut the grass. I can't wait to read more updates.

    Cheers!

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  7. Nice evolution of the last year's design, I would say. Seems to be enough space between beds, which is a mistake I made last year-there simply wasn't enough space between beds to move around, especially when the plants got bigger. Oh, well, smarter this year!

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