garden boxing

I take a few months off blogging and, woops! There goes all the news and activities piling up.

I upended my vegetable garden.

Well, not literally, I guess.

When we moved into the house I was resolute on the idea of devoting a chunk of the yard to a vegetable garden. It was a family thing. My parents had a huge garden. Both sets of my grandparents were avid gardeners. My in-laws have a huge garden. My wife’s grandparents lived in their garden and even maintained a second one on their old farmstead after they moved into town. It seemed like gardening was almost hereditary.

So we devoted a full third of our backyard to a plot of black soil and for a solid decade tended, cared, enhanced, refined and evolved it into a pretty respectable garden plot.

I don’t know why it slipped, but it eventually did.

It’s been five years since we’ve had a respectable harvest from our respectable garden plot.

Invasive weeds. Mice eat all the carrot tops. Wasps took over our lettuce patch last year. The potatoes seem to have given up completely as fewer come out of the ground than go in as seeds.

I didn’t want to call it quits, but I decided last fall that I needed a rethink.

The rethink came in the form of a raised garden box.

I built a square box (atop where the old box-bed had sat, which I demolished) out of 4×6 by eight foot treated posts stacked three tall. I lined it with mesh and recycled cardboard. I filled it with a blend of salvaged soil (from lowering the grade slightly around the box), peat, and free compost from the City’s green-waste composting program. Around the box I’ll grow in the grass as a lawn, but all good things in time. As for the box itself:

I mixed and raked it.

I irrigated it.

I hung up some stuff to startle the magpies.

And I planted a few tomatoes, a couple peppers, a squash, a bunch of carrots, beets, lettuce and a scattering of radishes.

It’s May long weekend, the weekend in Canada when all good gardeners are fully planted for the season. I’m fully planted. Does that make me a good gardener again?