Garden Greens

Each year Austin and I put our green thumbs to good use. This summer marks the fourth garden we have planted together. Every year the gardens get more elaborate and better. When we planned out what we wanted to plant this year we focused on one main thing. We wanted a completely organic garden. We first focused on building a raised garden bed, complete with trellises in place for all the climbers like tomatoes and pole beans to grow.

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Austin and I found an excellent construction plan for our raised bed and successfully created the structure of our organic garden. In about 20 minutes and for less than many of the raised beds being commercially sold today (ours was around $30.00), Aus and I build a 5×5 foot raised bed, using two 8 x 10 sawed in half to form the bed itself and two 2×3 to formulate 58 inch posts for attaching chicken wire. This ended up being perfect for maintaining our summer tradition.

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One very important thing to remember is to, in a sense, take surveillance of the soil, sun, flora, and fawn that surround the location of your garden. After noting that the location we desired had 6 hours of sun (best for full sun plants), was in range of the lawn sprinklers, but was unfortunately in prime location for rabbits and deer to nibble our sprouts, we brainstormed. The best solution was to surround the raised bed with chicken wire and to secure it with lawn pins.

After choosing our seeds and what we wanted to plant and harvest, all of which include:

Pole beans, bell peppers, carrots, spinach, lettuce, strawberry plants, red potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes (cherry and big boy), asparagus, and Tom Thumb peas. Oh, and Austin’s pride and joy a blueberry bush! We then organized the location of each of the garden sections so that we could put our climbers in range of the trellises.

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Being that we wanted to plant an organic garden we stayed away from harmful chemicals and fertilizers, purchased organic plants and seeds and I started planting and obtaining sprouts by growing seeds indoors for a few weeks prior to planting them in the bed. We settled on a mixture of 3 soils, organic mushroom compost, organic mixed soil, and organic top soil. These three soils really complimented each other and locked in the moisture needed to encourage maximum growth.

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It is important to note each of the plants and their individual needs and requirements. For instance, blueberry bushes grow best when the soil is acidic. In order to measure acidity a pH instrument is very beneficial. Austin and I purchased an inexpensive pH tool from Lowes. This allowed us to get a general idea about the type of soil we were dealing with and how we could adjust it naturally to allow the blueberry bush to grow. That being said, to make the soil more acidic there are a number of treatments one can utilize. Some of which include, using peat moss, increasing the amount of green compost, or adding coffee grounds.

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On a whole, after a long sunshiny afternoon of planting, Austin and I put together our best garden yet. It is filled with organic spouts already and we are both looking forward to maintaining and taking care of our veggies throughout the summer months.

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