Last spring I decided I wanted a serious vegetable garden. Unfortunately, we didn’t really have any empty flower beds that needed to be dug up and replanted. So I decided that we would build raised beds on the concrete driveway in our back yard. The sunlight was great and four planters would fit perfectly.
It only took three trips to Home Depot and a very long day (6 am till 10 pm) but we finished. Of course, I couldn’t move for a few days as the 45 wheelbarrow trips of rocks and special vegetable garden dirt just about did me in!
I planted all four beds in this way.
Bed One was all herbs such as parsley, cilantro, sage, chives, oregano and dill.
In another bed, I planted lettuce, garlic, onions and basil.
The third was planted with tomatoes and basil.
And the fourth was planted with peas, strawberries, carrots, beets, peppers and corn.
It’s been almost a year since we built the planters and I have learned a lot. First, even with the water shortage, I needed automatic sprinklers. So we added them in July when it was really hot. Due to water rationing, we could only water two days a week and the beds definitely suffered from the lack of water (thank God the drought is over!). A few of the vegetables didn’t work including the beets, corn, peas and carrots. They just needed more water. The herbs did great except the dill. Which is a bummer because I need it for my crab cakes (have you tried my recipe?)! The tomatoes took forever to grow but they continued to grow all winter which has been great.
This spring I replanted some new tomatoes and added artichokes and more herbs. I also am going to add squash and more lettuce.
My favorite plant in my new garden? The two blueberry bushes we added in large pots on our back patio. The only problem with them is they are not “farm to table”. They are “farm to mouth”. Rarely do those sweet berries ever make it into my house!
Stay tuned for a Make-It-Yourself blog post to see exactly how to make the raised flower beds and tomato trellises.