This week I completed phase two of my vegetable garden makeover: filling the new garden boxes and planting my early crops. It was a process that involved lots of shoveling, bending, and digging. The weather didn't always cooperate, but despite the snow flurries drifting down around me, I finished my project. And then I headed off to the massage therapist for some post-workout relaxation!
Up until this point my garden has consisted of several 4'x 8' soil beds with no frame. My garden sits on a slight slope, so when the spring rains came I dealt with quite a bit of runoff. This year I condensed the planting area to four beds with wooden frames. I also added planting beds around the inside perimeter of the new pallet fence that surrounds the garden.
The new boxes were placed over the old plots, and I filled them with garden soil and some well composted cow manure from a friend's cattle barn. The existing garden soil was about 10" deep, so with the addition of the 6" high frames I now have a soil depth of roughly 15". I hope to have some great root structure on my plants this year!
When I put up my new pallet fence in late winter, I lost about two feet of my garden plot. Unfortunately, the area I lost happened to be my garlic patch. Obviously, I wasn't thinking ahead when I planted it there last fall, so it was either lose the garlic or move it. So, I carefully dug it up and transplanted it into one of the newly filled boxes.
The garlic transplanted just fine, and with the rain later in the week, it perked right up and settled in just like it had been there all along. It should be ready to harvest in June, and then I'll most likely re-plant the area with green beans. Remember--garlic needs to overwinter in place, so for a successful harvest, plant in October and harvest in June.
After transplanting the garlic, I went to the basement to grab my bucket of seed potatoes. Check out the eyes on these pretty Red Pontiacs! These are seed potatoes I saved from my harvest last summer. They overwintered well in the basement and sprouted their eyes right on time for their traditional St. Patrick's Day planting.
Along with the seed potatoes, I planted about a hundred onion sets and one bunch of leeks. I've never grown leeks, so we'll see how they turn out. The deep raised beds allow for plenty of root space, so I can plant my vegetables closer together than before, and I can get more plants in a smaller space. Perfect for my French Potager garden plan!