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I am not sure if it is just that time of the year or the age (LOL) but time seems to be flying too fast. I feel like we have just started working on our backyard vegetable garden transformation a couple of weeks ago, so how can it be a week 5 already?! Is it just me or you are feeling the same?
With crazy busy-ness sometimes come good results 🙂 Last week we had completed building a long raised bed which now separates the vegetable garden from the rest of the backyard. And this week we have added two new raised beds to the veggie garden and built a new bed in the greenhouse.
Now we have enough beds to host all of our seedlings this year 🙂
Add more raised garden beds
This time we used free pallets for the greenhouse bed only. We could not find enough pallets to build the other two beds in the garden so we just decided to buy 1x4x8 cedar lumber from Homedepot.
As you can see, the wood looks different from the rest of the beds. We are not very worried about it but if it is something that you would not like in your garden, you can always stain the wood to have a more consistent look. Just make sure you choose the eco-friendly paint or stain if you grow food in your garden 😉
At the end of the day, we grow vegetables to have fewer chemicals on our plates, don’t we?
As you can see, we use PVC plumbing pipes for “framing” and put on a plastic cover for the vegetable protection during cold nights on some of the beds. We’ve used the same plastic cover we used last year when we transformed our old shed into a greenhouse.
The pipes get secured to the ground with the use of these metal rods. Mr. Handyman cuts them into 3 pieces of 2 ft bars. If you are in the US, these are the similar ones and you don’t even need to cut them.
How to choose soil for the raised beds
If you remember we ran out of soil last week and we had to order more this week.
This time we just went directly to the supplier to submit the order.
It turned out that last time when I ordered soil online, I chose the ‘garden mix’. They told me that the mix is good if we grow flowers. But if we grow vegetables, then we should order a different mix which has a more vegetable garden appropriate mix.
Well… the price was a bit higher for that soil. But we decided to take it anyway and to compare the two.
When the soil was delivered, you could tell the difference! I now wish we ordered the latter for our front yard transformation earlier this year!
By the way, if you haven’t checked that project, you might want to do it now. We are sharing a few DIY ideas there as well 🙂
Besides the difference in the look and feel, there is a difference in the soil nutritional composition as well. This information should be easily available from your local source of the bulk soil.
Also, you could check your local stores like Homedepot or local nurseries for the bagged soil. It might be a more expensive option depending on the size of your project though.
So, depending on what you are using the beds for you will want to select the soil for that specific purpose.
When to Add Mulch
We have indeterminate tomatoes growing in the “old” raised beds in the greenhouse now. As we are not growing anything from seeds there at this moment, they can now be mulched to keep the soil moist.
So we have mixed the shredded dry leaves with compost and mulched the beds with it.
This has a dual purpose:
1) as noted above, it will keep the soil moist, thus helping us to save on water and time needed for watering;
2) it will slowly release additional nutrients to the soil.
Since our beds are like containers – they are not deep and the roots cannot reach the nutrients from the deep soil layers, they will rely on compost for the nutrients.
As a reminder, we only use compost, vermicompost, and compost tea in our garden to feed the plants. These also need to be used in moderation depending on the plant, as some of the plants (like tomatoes) won’t like too much of these.
Backyard Vegetable Garden Transformation
So, our backyard garden transformation project is almost over. Come back next week for the final yard transformation reveal and don’t forget to check the other participants’ projects here 🙂