Building the Perfect Garden Spot

We have been super busy over here getting our garden area ready for planting.  The raised garden bed has been built, the bed liner is in, and it’s now filled with rich garden soil.  It looks so beautiful and sometimes it is hard to believe that “we” made it.  We believe we took the correct route to make our own raised garden bed rather than just purchasing a raised bed kit, as it was a huge savings for us.  For the size of garden that we had in mind, it would have cost us around the $500, so building our own raised garden bed from untreated wood saved us a lot!

We already have our onions planted in the garden, but the rest of the plants won’t go in until May, but we have so much more to do before we’re done.  For example, we had a flower bed next to our garage that did not look that good, so we decided to get some beautiful retaining wall/landscaping bricks to beautify it.  We started out by digging the flower bed wider with an edging shovel, then had to remove all of the grass pieces (not an easy task to do), had to remove some of the plants we had in this bed like our hostas to another location, turned over the dirt in the bed to get it ready, and now we’re working on installing the bricks. 

The most important part of installing any type of landscaping bricks is making the first layer “level”, because if it is not, your wall will look horrible when completed, and uneven.  Every brick needs to be level, every brick.  It also helps when you use a string line measured to the height you want your retaining wall as this gives you a good visual idea if you are on the right track or not.  The next important thing to do with every brick laid is to “measure”.  With every brick I laid, I measured the distance from the side of the garage to the front of the brick and kept that same measurement for each brick laid.  So far, I have completed more than half of this new retaining wall for our new flower bed.  Once all the bricks are in, we will fill with our good rich garden soil and we’ll plant our strawberries and zucchini in this bed.  Ooooh the thought of fresh picked strawberries in a nice cold strawberry banana smoothie for the summer sounds so good, or a nice piece of zucchini bread straight out of the oven makes my mouth water!

Our next item we are working on is our garden wall & gate.  The garden wall, the keep the deer out since we are in a heavily populated deer area, will be constructed of those really nice heavy metal garden stakes across the entire backyard.  Then we will attach, with black tie wraps, black poultry fencing, two rows high (6′ in height when complete) to deter any of the deer from even thinking of nibbling on our garden plants.  When we were planning this out on paper months ago, we started to think – – how are we going to “enter” the garden when this fencing was in place?  That is where we came up with the idea of making a “garden gate” or door as an entryway to our garden.  We constructed the door out of two long pieces of thin wood and laid two shorter pieces on top and bottom to complete the frame of the door, then used wood screws in each corner to hold it in place. 

We painted the garden gate door all black because we wanted it to match the black poultry fence and blend in nicely.  After painting the door, we laid out a strip of the poultry fencing on the door frame, cut it to fit, and adhered it to the door with a staple gun.  The door is now complete, except for adding the two hinges and a little latch to keep the door closed.  We are so proud of our neat garden gate idea, and very happy on how nicely the door came out!  Heck, how else would we gain entry into the garden, right?

With all of this going on, our little sprouts are coming along nicely and getting bigger by the day.  We planted the majority of them already into their own nice peat pot, and ever since we did that, they are taking off and growing by leaps and bounds!  We are getting a real kick out of watching them grow up everyday, and it’s hard to imagine that these little guys all came from a tiny seed and are now growing into healthy plants, so I guess we can’t call them sprouts any longer. 

We also purchased this really neat wood lattice trellis for the garden that opens up to something that looks like an “A”, but we are going to remove the hardware at the top, and screw the two pieces to the sides of the garden for the cucumbers to crawl up on.  TIP FOR GARDENERS:  We were going to get something that was made of metal for the cucs to climb on, but when we were doing our research, it stated to NOT get anything metal for your climbing vegetables because the metal gets hot and will scorch the vines.  DID NOT KNOW THAT, nor would we have ever thought of that, but it sure makes sense, so if you are getting something for any climbing vegetable in your garden, make sure it is not metal!

Getting all of this done before we actually plant has been a little difficult in our area due to all the weather changes.  One day it can be nice and warm enough for shorts, then the next, we’re back to a heavy coat, so trying to complete our projects has been an off and on kinda thing, so we just have to wing it.  But all in all, we are happy with what we have completed so far, and we’ll continue to work around our weather conditions to ensure everything is in place for next month plantings! 

We hope that you all enjoy watching how our garden comes together, and keep watching/checking back often after we get everything planted.  It is an experience for us since we have never done anything like this before, but we have learned so much! 

If anyone is interested in two great gardening sites, here they are:  www.alltomato.com and www.vegetable-gardening-online.com   Both of these sites have the most incredible information, and everything you ever wanted to know about any vegetable, from planting, to picking them, to freezing them, to recipes!  Check them out when you get the chance and let us know how you liked the sites! 

More about beautifying our garden will follow once the rain stops and we can head back outside.  Until later…

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8 thoughts on “Building the Perfect Garden Spot

  1. Wow! Great work – it looks fantastic! And the bricks should help keep your soil warm, too 🙂
    I will pass on two things I’ve learnt the hard way: 1. make sure your soil doesn’t rest on the wooden boards of your house. Rot will happen – and it’s a pain to fix up! 2. gates often benefit from a sag bar (a diagonal bar). Yours may be slim enough it doesn’t need one, but if it starts catching on one side, then a sag bar is what you need.
    Good luck with the deer – that’s one thing I’m glad I don’t have to worry about gardening in New Zealand.
    Happy growing – and happy eating 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the great advice! The soil is only touching the cement foundation of the garage, so we are ok with no boards rotting, but the sag bar idea is a good idea. The door is really light, but we are really happy on how it turned out! (for our first time making a door!) Keep in touch, and check back to see how it all comes together once we get our plants in the ground this month. If you haven’t already subscribed to the blog, please do so! Thanks, Val

    • THANK YOU! We built this area for our strawberries on one end and our zucchini will be on the other end. The little plants are doing nicely in the house and will be ready to plant in May. Our weather has not been too warm lately, so we are waiting for our last frost, then comes the planting! Glad you liked our new garden spot! We also just had 300 more of the same blocks delivered on Monday so we can do the same to another flower bed by the house.

    • Hi Ya Bella & DiDi! Yep, I love helping Mommy in the garden! It is always so nice to be outside in the fresh air, chase bugs & those white butterflies all around the yard. Mommy laughs at me all the time when I do this, but that’s what us dogs do best! Keep watching our updates, as we just ordered 300 more wall stones for the garden area! The horrible thing is, is that we heard we might have a winter storm come through here tonight – – I know, we said “what the heck!!!” when we heard that! Doesn’t Mother Nature know it’s April? We had better/warmer weather here in Cleveland in March.

  2. Awesome, Nikita! Your Mommy and Daddy and You are sure working hard and doing an excellent job on your new garden! Is your job digging the holes for the plants? LOL We agree! There is nothing like going out to your own garden and picking fresh vegetables to eat! We picked so many string beans last year that our freezer looked like we were vegetarians. We are still eating green snap string beans for dinner at present, maybe even tomorrow! Great tip on the climbing cucumbers! Would not have thought about scorching the vines on the metal. Maybe that is why for the past two years, our cucumbers had not done well; both summers were VERY hot! But, they did do well in previous years. Hmmm! I will have to tell my Mommy and Daddy about this! My Mommy and Daddy LOVE zucchini bread! My Mommy has a delicious recipe for it! They also like zucchini with other vegetables and garlic and parmesan cheese either grilled or in the microwave. My Brother and I LOVE carrots! My Mommy said that her mouth is watering right now for a fresh tomato and cheese sandwich or Poor Man’s Pizza (a Family recipe of hers)! I guess that we will be getting your rain tomorrow, but we REALLY DO NEED IT! Yes, the weather here has sure been crazy too! We have had so many more cooler days and freeze warning nights in April than we had in March! Today is VERY warm and HUMID, like right before a storm! Happy Planting, Nikita! Have a GREAT weekend! Love, Harmony XO

    • Hi Harmony! We just heard on the news that parts of Northeast Ohio has a winter snow storm advisory for the next 24 hours – YIKES! I hope we don’t get hit with any snow, as it snowed here on April 10th. Yep, my Daddy & Mommy have been really busy over here for sure! I am glad you liked the Gardener’s Tip that we posted as it does make a lot of sense to NOT use metal for your climbing veggies as it can scorch the vines. Since we have never had a garden before, we have done a lot of research and have found so much information. Make sure you check out the two links in this post to see the gardening sites we found! We can’t wait for the day when we can pick our own veggies too from our garden. What is really neat is that Daddy & Mommy have a table downstairs with all their little sprouts on with a grow light hanging above them and this table is now just covered in green as the plants are getting bigger! Some of them still have to grow up bigger before they can be transplanted into peat pots, but they are coming along nicely. Mommy can’t wait to make zucchini bread either, as it is so good! My job in the garden is to find everything in the grass that I am NOT supposed to eat, like flower buds or mulch, but Mommy keeps her eye on me and takes it out of my mouth every time. I don’t want to get sick again like I did last year after I ate mulch, that was no fun at all! Well, I am gonna go put my sweater on to head outside, because it is really cold out today! Woof Woof, Love Nikita

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