I am not really a veggie gardener at heart. I am a perennial gardener. If I was a true vegetable gardener, I'd have something started inside, ready to fill the spot where I'm about to harvest the last of the spinach. But I haven't. I don't even want to think about doing that, actually! (I'm busy painting these days... more on that later.) And there's more than enough to eat out there right now, anyway.
As a perennial gardener, I'm finished my mad spring rush of gardening, and I'm in cruise mode. In the perennial garden, the plants in most areas by this time of the season are big enough to shade the soil and minimize weed growth, and the garden almost takes care of itself (I do a little deadheading and pull the largest weeds that catch my eye, and that's about it.)
Most of the veggies are getting quite large and lush also now, and the veggie garden looks great. So great I almost hate to harvest! (I said almost, but I'm not quite that crazy!) I truly have been my enjoying fresh greens these last many weeks and the strawberries and peas are starting to ripen now. But it's kind of a pity things won't look so nice for the rest of the season, isn't it? So in honour of the beauty of home-grown veggies, I thought I would post a few photos!
I feel I should mention that this area is not complete - eventually those pots against the fence will also be replaced with raised beds. Eventually...
Anyway, these beds seem to be doing very well for their first year - I've read that sometimes it takes a couple of years to get up to full production because it takes a while for the beneficial organisms to build up in the soil. The boxes are 4' x 8' in area and more than 1 ft high. After building them, I briefly thought that maybe they were too high, because of course, extra height means extra cost in wood and soil, and I was afraid they might dry out quickly. But they don't, and I am loving the extra height because it is SOOOOOOO easy to weed. My back is very happy!
And since having all this extra space was new for me this year, I wasn't sure how much of everything to plant. So I guessed, and recorded what I did, so I can make notes for next year. I planted 4 squares of spinach (see my notes on square foot gardening here), which was maybe a bit too much, but in case of a few dinners or potlocks, I'd like to have a little extra, so note to self: plant 4 squares of spinach again next year. The actual garden and planting plan are shown from the same orientation, below: