Like most things, gardens are always a work in progress. Build an extra bed here, secure the gate there; tweak the fencing, change up the plants. You get the gist. Same goes for our garden. Last year we tore out the warped posts and loose fencing and replaced with pressure treated wood and varmint protectant mesh – added some caps to the posts for a little cherry on top. Still with all this, I still had a list of a couple things I wanted to improve on for this year.
Because our backyard is primarily rock, we have raised beds in our garden. Four years ago when we started our garden, we built the raised beds out of scrap wood we had on hand. Well, to really be honest, four of the beds were built from the faux beams gone ugly that were in our dining room when we first moved in. This year, it was time to say out with the old and in with the new. In need of deeper beds, each are now 10 inches high and built out of, you guessed it, pressure treated wood.
To fill the beds, I added fresh top soil, along with a mixture of compost and worm castings (which really is a gourmet way of saying worm poop). What’s the value of worm castings, you ask? Well, if you want a better garden, you use it. It’s the richest natural fertilizer available. Worm castings stimulate plant growth, inhibit root disease, and enhance the ability for soil to retain water. Worm poop. Who knew? Well, all of the avid gardeners, and now you and me. Best stuff ever. It can be found at your local garden center. Just read the back for directions on distribution. Perfect for all gardens.
To go along with the deeper beds and the worm casting enriched soil, the garden paths needed attention. We’ve always added new mulch, but after only a few weeks, it looked tired and old; didn’t even look like we added new in the beginning of the season. Whenever I would see a garden in a magazine or online that totally caught my attention, each garden pathway was lined with pea gravel. To me, it just looks so polished. So, that is what I decided to do and I’m so happy I did. Lugging the gravel up to the garden and spreading it evenly wasn’t an easy chore, but dang, looks so much nicer!
Always keeping our plants simple, we grow with what works best for us. Tomatoes, cukes, green beans, bell peppers, and herbs. Strawberries for dessert. Still a couple more things I’d like to do, like adding a potted boxwood or two and maybe another hanging basket. But in the meantime, I’m going to let my green garden grow.