The Vegetable Patch Takes Shape

Last year our spring was lovely and warm – and extremely dry. Lovely for working outdoors, but far too dry to dig over a new vegetable garden. So it got postponed.

This April I optimistically marked out the spot where the vegetable beds will be. There will be four beds within the marked area with wooden frames around them. ItΒ is an open space and gets lots of sunshine. And is also not too far from our water supply on the north side of the house.Β Here you can just about make out the yellow poles marking the corners.

I had been planning this for months, but the weather hadn’t been on our side again… too damp this time! Then finally it was perfect weather at the end of April and we were able to mow. Then my Man of Many Talents got out his trusty tractor and tilled over the area for me. πŸ˜„

Thank goodness I didn’t have to do it all by hand! There were some very large stones in the ground.

And after some raking and weeding it started to take shape….

Viewed from the top of the Herb Bed

Then it rained…. and rained and blew and rained again… So we got to work on the wooden frames in the meantime. Now, I don’t know what the situation is in your part of the world, but finding good and affordable wood is not easy here at the moment. Everyone is doing DIY projects and the supply chains have been messed up. My Man of Many Talents got some spruce planks, but the quality is not brilliant and it was a matter of either that or ‘wait and see’. But for the purpose I am sure it will be fine.

He cut it to the right lengths – four times 3m x 1m – and we assembled the frames. Then I sanded down some of the rough edges and oiled the whole construction with linseed oil.

The finished structures were carried to the bed and I spent the rest of the day shovelling soil around to level it up and get rid of weeds. And the supports for the beans and cucumber were put in.

A day later planting began. I have sown runner beans and soya beans, chard, salad leaves, and put in some small strawberry plants and kohlrabi (very well known in Germany). This will be a new adventure, as I have only ever grown vegetables in pots and containers up to now.

So, now you can see why I have not been blogging much recently… this took a lot of time and energy! But the final stages will hopefully be completed in the coming week… mulching around the beds, and also planting the zucchini, butternut and cucumber plants I have grown from seed. I will keep a record here of how things develop. (Both the failures and successes!) I know many of my readers are far more experienced in growing vegetables, so I will be glad of any tips along the way!

Have a great weekend and Happy Gardening!


48 thoughts on “The Vegetable Patch Takes Shape

    • Thank you. I am quite pleased with the look of it. Let’s see if I can grow anything without the wildlife getting to it first! πŸ˜‰

  1. They look amazing. Great job. So envious of your flat land. We have a gradient on our field and every small job feels an engineering feat to get things looking level.

    Do you have rabbits or deer to contend with?

    • Haha! It is deceptive. It is on a slope, like the rest of the garden! My obelisks all look lopsided, but I don’t really mind it as our old garden was just the same. We have hares to contend with… apparently they like strawberries. And then there are the cabbage white butterflies and sparrows after the salad…. I have ordered some netting!

    • Hi Amelia. I have realised it really does pay to plan in advance… I have learned from mistakes made in my old garden, πŸ˜‰ But actually it is probablynever too late to change, unless trees are in the way of course.

  2. How exciting Cathy! Good luck and happy growing. I imagine that you will have to do more watering than me so it’s good that they are not far from where you can get water. Nothing beats the taste of home grown and freshly picked vegetables.The beds look sturdily constructed and you have got a decent gaps round them which makes it easier for picking. I’ve downsized my allotment this year for two raised beds and hopefully room still for a third for vegetable growing πŸ˜„

    • I haven’t had to water much yet Anna as we have had two days of solid rain and have also been getting April showers at regular intervals! But the nearby hosepipe connection will be a blessing in summer. I am particularly excited about growing cucumbers as I have never done so before. πŸ˜ƒ I think this might be a good size veg patch for the two of us and my Man of Many Talents has made two big beds for his potatoes and allowed me to start off a rhubarb patch at the end of one too! πŸ˜ƒ

    • I am looking foward to harvesting my own cucumbers. And runner beans too – my Dad used to have rows and rows of them when I was young and we ate them almost daily for weeks on end. πŸ˜ƒ

  3. Looks fab, and that’s a good size for the beds – if I could change something with my raised bed I would make it narrower as it’s hard to reach the middle, mine’s 2 metres wide. You could always put a nice picket fence around the whole area to keep the hares out – would that keep them out? Best of luck with your veg growing!

    • Hi Sel. A fence will probably arrive at some stage! The hares have already inspected the area, but there is nothing tasty for them yet…. we watched them eating dandelion stalks and seedheads yesterday which made them so endearing. They had better not touch my strawberries though! πŸ˜‰

  4. Impressive; so neat and flat and square, and of course, sunny! Slopes can be accommodated, but it is difficult to avoid the shadows of trees if the trees are hundreds of feet tall.

    • Our garden is actually all on a slope, but I don’t think it matters that the beds are not entirely flat from all angles. πŸ˜‰

      • Well, they are relatively flat. In this region, so much of the area is very steeply sloped. At my former home, the highest point was nearly four hundred feet higher than the lowest point, and all that elevation change was within less than ten acres! Parts of it were cliffs.

    • My tomato plants are in pots again this year and have just been potted up on the patio where they get shelter from the wind (and rain). But having the zucchini and butternut in the ground this year will reduce the watering workload I hope.

  5. Great job! I know you’re aiming for veggie production, but it also looks looks great as well, and I’m sure you’ll have fun with your new space.
    I did something similar last year and fortunately got the wood purchased and delivered before everything got messed up and doubled in price. The first year went well, but this year I’m struggling to not plant flowers in all that available space and to resist the temptation of letting all the interesting weeds such as poppies and daisies remain. I must keep some space for beans!

    • Thanks Frank. I thought of your potager while building this! Time will tell…. if I don’t have the success I hope for with vegetables I might have some cutting beds next year! πŸ€ͺ You must keep space for the beans though. I just love runner beans, and have sown a handful of soya beans as an experiment too. πŸ˜ƒ

  6. Cathy, it looks great. You’re a good team, but yes, lots of work, even for two. What’s nice about all the upfront planning and prep, is that now it’s done, it’s done. You’ll be able to focus on planting in future years, sorting out what works best, and how to keep your four-legged friends from helping themselves. Ah, the joys of gardening, eh? It is a joy so have fun. I am in AWE of your gorgeous property.

    PS…the lumber shortage is legendary. I’m glad you found something to fit your needs.

  7. I almost missed this! Wow, you’ve been working hard. It looks great and very professional indeed 😁 . It means so much when you can share your gardening passion with your better half, doesn’t it. Did you fill the beds with a mix of compost and soil? You have so much lawn to mow – mind you mowing takes even more time in spring because I spare all those little islands with daisies. πŸ˜‚ Big material shortages here too and prices have gone up by 60% in the past few weeks, very scary, don’t know how people will be able to afford this madness. Apparently a lot of stuff has been bought up by the Chinese. Good luck with the veg garden, it’s one of the most rewarding things in life.

    • Hi Annette. Yes, mostly soil went back into the beds after levelling off the whole area, but a bit of compost too. The brussels sprouts are going out today and we may even do a bit of mowing…. haha, it has just this minute begun to rain again! Thanks for your lovely mail with the photos. πŸ˜ƒ So good you could get away after all. Will write soon. πŸ€— xx

  8. I was also busy like you and on top of it grew my own πŸ™‚ then I forgot I had to fence it all in so I used poultry fencing and rods you use for electric fences so if it gets bad with rodents I can add a solar charger and remind them this food is mine πŸ™‚ Have fun filling them and adding goodness Hugs Cathy

    • I haven’t put a fence around mine… yet! I hear that hares like strawberries and the birds will try pecking at my salad! 🌱πŸ€ͺ Have got some netting just in case, and a fence is being considered. Enjoy your garden Eunice! β˜€οΈπŸŒπŸ“

  9. Wow! I am a little envious, Cathy! πŸ™‚ This is a spectacular vegetable garden space. i have some, but nothing to compare, and I’d love to have this much to develop. I hope you’ll share your successes across the summer months. I’m inspired!

    • Thanks Debra. The relentless wind has already caused a couple of casualties, but our weather should finally calm down and warm up next week. πŸŒ¬πŸŒ¦β›ˆβ˜€οΈ

  10. Well done Cathy and your MoMT! I hope you gave a productive first year without too many incursions by non-welcome visitors! I do sometimes wonder if I would have retained space for veg if I had had the success with sowing back then that I have now… Interesting to read that the timber shortage is worldwide – and that the Chinese may be partially responsible!

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