Jun 24, 2016
Jun 23, 2016
Jun 21, 2016
Jun 17, 2016
When we settled on the farm and established our garden we were focused on large crops. This led us on a journey of intense labor and lessons learned.
We had great success but it was difficult to maintain because we were also raising livestock and many other things were happening.
To say Old Macdonald had a farm, would be an understatement.
After several seasons of heavy rains, windy summers and a couple droughts I decided enough already and wanted a garden that was less difficult to maintain.
This is when I finally accepted that raised beds would be a good solution to our obstacles.
Keeping the soil moist was difficult even with using mulch as a protector. The heavy rain compact the soil, then the wind and bursting sunshine did everything to dry it out the garden.
We were watering every day unless it rained.
After a couple years of farm life I wasn't really afraid of anything any more so when I decided to embrace raised beds I didn't wait for my husband's help, I got to work!
I started with wood and grabbed odd items that we had lying around the farm.
Our soil was pretty awesome; we took this awful clay, added sand and over the course of three years amended with direct compost and animal manure.
Each bed was established the old fashioned way, with honest hard labor. A good foundation is the key to greatness. Don't you agree?
Landscaping timbers were in abundance so they became the frame work of the majority of our beds.
I pulled every odd something together to create a raised bed garden without breaking the budget.
This is probably easier to do in the country because there's no HOA to tell you what you can or cannot do.
The raised beds were all coming together pretty quick but something was missing, I needed dimension. I started making some of the beds taller and added elements like tin cans to pull the eye in different directions.
This was a lot of fun but what I realized during the entire process is the garden was growing better than ever. The beds remained moist and I wasn't having to water as often as I did before.
Earlier this spring we added a couple more beds made from 2 x 4's and I absolutely love them. These are 2 ft by 4 ft. for us now empty nesters this size bed has been a gem.
They're easier to maintain and have allowed me to focus my planting on a smaller scale.
If you're struggling in your garden due to crazy weather patterns you may want to consider implementing raised beds.
Even if you're starting from scratch I would still recommend raised beds.
This style of gardening has also helped me focus my chores in a way that isn't overwhelming. I take care of 2 beds every other day and watering is an absolute joy.
The grass. well that's a bit of a pain to cut but it does help keep the bugs out of the raised beds.
It's safe to say I chose gardening in beds to help deal with our crazy weather, simplify my chores and add a little additional interest because I just love to put things together.