Friday, June 17, 2011

Gardening Days Part 2: Raised Vegetable Bed

FYI: This post is going to be a picture parade!

Our amazing zucchini plants!

We have way more vegetable plants growing, sprouting and seeded than yard plants. First up is our raised and covered bed, which was made with some scrap wood and vapor barrier my dad gave us last year. You can see the post here. We've made a few adjustments to the original design, such as attaching small pieces of wood to hold the plastic frame down. After using this cold frame and growing veggies in it for 2 seasons, we would probably design it totally different. For a starting point, it was a great learning experience.
Here is a picture that we took in the fall. To be honest I was happy to reuse material, but I thought the outer boards were a bit ugly. So an idea started forming...

Here is the after pic! We invited over family and everyone took part in painting the outside boards. Everyone had fun free handing it and painting whatever they wanted.

What you will need to paint your raised garden bed:
-White outdoor primer (paint the outside boards carefully and let dry)
-A variety of acrylic paints, paint brushes, a blanket to put on the ground, a fun group of people and a great imagination!

This is a wonderful project for children with adult supervision of course. It encourages interest in growing fresh foods! My lil one constantly looks out the window or runs outside just to look at his artwork. I didn't realize how much of an impact this would have on him, he just loves that he painted something outside. The added bonus it looks beautiful compared to the boring old wooden boards they once were!

My son's beautiful choice in colors!

My lil one took this pic of me this morning when I wasn't looking! My hair is getting so long you can't even see my face in this photo! I think I was pulling some baby slugs out of the garden (our major pest this year). I'm just grateful they are not those big, ugly slugs! I won't touch those things.

Here are the vegetables in the raised bed...
Green Bush Beans that are constantly fighting to survive against those slugs

Cucumber plants that I had to purchase as starts. I planted Spacemaster seeds, but they never came up.

A lettuce mix that included parsley, basil, swiss chard and 4 different types of greens! This was my first time trying out seed tape, which is basically seeds placed in bio-degradable tissue that you plant out in the soil. Saves you time, plus the small seeds that can be hard to work with are spaced evenly within the seed tape. I had mixed results with seed tape so far. The first growth only grew half the row, but the second growth seems to be sprouting well.

Baby strawberries on the way!

The strawberry plants...with a yummy red berry ready to be eaten!

First strawberry of the season, picked by my lil one. We shared it, and it had amazing flavor!

Since taking these photos a few days ago, I've planted some radishes (only a 20 day crop!) and 2 more lettuce mixes. Hopefully in a couple weeks we will see some sprouting!

So ends the tour of our raised garden bed, up next is my container gardening! I have about 20+ large containers full of veggies!


rawkinmom said...

I love your decorated beds!!! HOW CUTE!!!!

Maggie said...

Thanks hun! It was so much fun, I wish we had another garden bed to paint!