Pacific Northwest Raised Garden Beds
Last weekend, I came down with a serious case of Garden Fever. It happens every May. I can’t be bothered with trivial things like dinner (pancakes) or laundry (There are six clean loads piled in my family room at this moment. You want clean underwear, kids? Start digging.).
All I can think about is planning, purchasing, and putting plants in the ground. I spend every free minute in the garden until every last vegetable seed and start is nice & comfortable in their new digs. This year I got the kids involved and spread it out over three days.
Growing food in your own backyard is seriously the best.
This year, my goal was to pack as much produce as possible into my little garden corner. There’s not as much rhyme or reason as years past, but I’m really happy with how it all came together.
First of all, I amended the soil with compost and steer manure. I picked up the steer manure at Fred Meyer with my four children in tow. It was quite possibly one of the worst decisions of my parenting career. It involved missing shoes, a broken race car cart, and tomato cages. Shlepping a grocery cart that was like a cross between The Beverly Hillbillies + Cheaper by the Dozen through the grocery store is not a good look. And I hadn’t showered or changed out of my gardening clothes that day. My apologies if you witnessed that. It’s a small miracle no one was impaled or forgotten.
I was never so happy to get back to my garden.
We currently have a total of five raised garden beds. I have been dropping strong hints for my handyman to build me two more this year. Our soil is ridiculously rocky so gardening in raised beds is really the only way to go. Plus, I love the look and structure they add to the yard.
This year our raised beds hold tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, kale, brussel sprouts, and broccoli from vegetable starts and spinach, basil, carrots, beets, green beans, and zinnias from seeds. I tried to rotate plants around from last year and keep in mind the beds that get the best sun.
I found two small pallets in my husband’s ever present wood pile so I closed off the ends with lumber from the same pile. They make great planters for greens or, in my case, basil. If all my seeds come up, we will be eating pesto on everything this summer.
For the first time, I handed over one full bed to the kids and let them pick out whatever they wanted to plant in it. Experts say that kids are more likely to eat the food they cook/grow themselves. I have actually found this to be true. Good job, Experts! So, if all goes as planned, my kids will be eating beans, beets, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes this summer. They have good taste and cute handwriting.
The kids also wanted to try watermelon and cantaloupe. I don’t have high hopes for these guys, but they’ll be fun to watch in the name of science and progress. We also left a few volunteer squash in the ground as our mystery plants. My son is hoping for pumpkins.
It was so great to have the kids involved in the process this year. I soaked it up and can’t wait to work with them more throughout the summer.
We have raspberries running along our fence. Each year we move the canes farther down the line, to expand our raspberry empire. For now, I have sugar snap peas climbing up one end and cucumbers on the opposite side. At the base of each I planted bush beans and strawberries. There are butternut squash and spaghetti squash marching down the row, too.
The majority of our garden is inside of our fenced backyard, but I decided to take a gamble and see how many plants will survive the deer on the other side. Do deer like cucumbers and squash? I hope not.
It really is amazing how much food you can pack into a small space.
What is growing in your garden? Spill the beans.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.