Today, I will be sharing with you the next set of steps in the process we followed to ensure that we set ourselves up for gardening success! This is the second post in a series of four total, sharing our experience-From the planning stages through to the finished product, trouble-shooting throughout the season, and improvements we plan to make next year. So, make sure you continue to check back so you don’t miss any posts in this great gardening series!
If you missed the first post, check it out here!
Part 2 will cover how we got our garden plot ready, including building our fence and preparing the soil!
Once we got past the “planning” stage, which included choosing where we were going to plant our garden and what preparations we needed to make in advance, we were ready to dive in and get to work! It felt like Spring would never come! But before we knew it, Spring had arrived and we were getting busy!
First of all, we marked out and measured the area for the garden. We knew approximately how big we wanted the garden, however, a huge contributing factor was the fencing we had picked out. We chose 6 foot welded wire fencing and it came in a 100 foot roll. We only wanted to buy 1 roll, so we measured out a 24 foot square. We placed 8 foot, 4-inch round, treated posts every 8 feet around the perimeter. Several of the posts we secured with concrete for some added stability. This included the corner posts, the post for the hose to be mounted, and the posts on either side of the gate. (In hind-sight, we wish we would have secured all of the posts with concrete.) Once the fence posts were in place, my husband ran the water line out to the garden from the shed and mounted the hose to one of the posts. He also added a hose rack so that we could leave the hose in the garden rather than carrying it back and forth from the shed to the garden every night.
Next step was to add the welded wire fencing to the posts to enclose the area. This was quite a project and we got some extra helping hands to get this job done. We had 4 people total to get this job done: my hubby, myself, my father-in-law, and my nephew. We dug a small trench along the perimeter so that we could bury the fence a few inches to keep out the critters. We had 2 people stretching & pulling the fence, 1 person nailing the fence to the posts and 1 person kneeling down ensuring that the fencing was going in the trench and also pulling the fence tight for the person nailing it down. Once that was finished, the last step was adding the gate. My hubby built the door and we got it mounted in the entrance. Despite measuring things out ahead of time, we still ended up with some gaps. So we placed a board in the ground, at the bottom of the door, and attached some rubber pieces on the sides of the door to keep out any unwanted critters. When you are working on a big project, sometimes things don’t turn out exactly as you planned. However, the important thing to remember is to always be flexible and look for ways to make it work. Try to be creative and make due with the supplies you already have on hand. This will save you lots of money in the long run!
Once the fence was built, it was time to prepare the area for planting! This basically consisted of us digging up the area with our rototiller. We didn’t do much else with the soil this year. Since it’s our first year planting, we just wanted to test out our soil to see how it did by itself. Overall, it seemed to do pretty well. Next year we will most likely add manure and peat moss to add some additional nutrients to the soil. The main problem that we ran into was poor drainage. The front portion of the garden does not drain well, and at the beginning of the summer when we had a lot of rain. We had planted our tomatoes, peppers, and lots of seeds in this area. The tomatoes and peppers were stunted some at the beginning of the season. However, once the rainy period past and the summer sun came out, they perked back up and ultimately ended up doing amazing!! However, I think we would have had even more success if they would have had a good start. We also planted most of our seeds in the front half of our garden and most of them never came up. We had a small patch of lettuce that came up and that was it. Over the winter months, I plan on researching to see what I can do to help improve the soil drainage so that it isn’t a problem next year.
Overall, this was one of the most time-consuming parts of the entire process. Also, the most expensive part of the process. Now that we have everything set up, it should be much easier in the years to come.
Check back soon! Part 3 will cover my favorite part-what we planted in the garden this year!
What are your tips & tricks for planning & preparing your vegetable garden? Share your thoughts in the comments below-I love to hear from my readers!