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The Edible Garden

Brian and I put in a 4×8′ raised garden bed in our back lawn for growing plants. Since our lawn is sloped, this required digging out a wedge of lawn, and the resulting bed is completely raised on one side and raised by only inches on the other. Digging sucked big time. I don’t ever want to do it again – and if there ever is a next time we will be renting some equipment to do it. We have solid clay for a back yard. It holds a lot of water and is very heavy. It doesn’t drain and it’s extremely hard when wet. When dry (only on top) it’s a crumbly mess. After we dug out the wedge of bad clay we put in some gravel and some 6×6 timbers to build the walls. We filled it with compost from the nearby county compost site.

I bought 12 tomato plants and a bunch of herbs. I’d say 1/3 of the bed is herbs and the rest is tomatoes. I have too many tomato plants! oops. I planted them all anyway, so we’ll see what happens. I made the mistake of planting 3 rows. The romas are in the middle, and I’m not sure how I’ll get to them. I also didn’t stagger the plants in the rows, so I may have a hard time getting to the romas.

After reading up on various methods to cage and stake tomatoes, I think I’m going to train them to single stems and stake them with fabric ties. Supposedly single stem means fewer tomatoes, but I think I may have more than I can handle anyway!

Salsa, bruschetta, tomato salad, BLTs, here I come!

Here’s a useful article on pruning tomatoes. I know most tomato plants I’ve seen have been about 4 feet tall – probably because of where I live. We’ll see how tall mine get. I hope that staking single stems will help them make the most of their limited horizontal space.

I bought a rosemary plant and I already have some chives – those are the only two perennials. I also bought flat parsley, cilantro, oregano, dill, and basil. I’m hoping to get a nice basil crop, but two years ago the Japanese beetles devoured my basil.

One Response to “The Edible Garden”

  1. Veronika says:

    Wow – impressive! Can’t wait to see it.

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