Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garden Boxes a.k.a. No Bend Over Gardens

When we lived in Pennsylvania, we participated in a community garden with individual plots for a minimal fee. This was Sweetheart's introduction to gardening. He loved going after work to the garden to week and see how plants were growing. We had the chance to meet people in the community that we would not have met otherwise. Our first year we planted only 30 tomato plants. For a family of 2 with a baby on the way, 30 tomato plants were a huge commitment. We bottled up tomatoes for the winter and shared with neighbors. We loved the garden.

When Sweetheart took a job on the moon. We had to seriously consider what we would do for a garden. Let me explain about living on the moon. The moon is actually on earth. The sun is so hot and the lack of water that everything disintegrates. No traditional decomposition of rotting and turning into black rich-smelling soil. Any and every thing gets baked to disintegration. The sun skips the decay process completely.

The funny thing is when we see water or soil we smell it and look at it longingly knowing the power of that black beautiful dirt.

On our moving day, we purchased with our Pennsylvania Grandpa garden boxes from the Amish. The boxes are made out of insulated garage door panel. The length is 11 feet.

11 foot section
The width is 3 feet. They 3 foot sections were cut in Pennsylvania before the panels were loaded onto the moving truck.

3 foot section
The corner pieces are secured with angle iron and pre-drilled holes that are bolted together.

Angle iron inside the box with the bolts on the outside
We then bought black soil, manure, and added compost to make a gardening space. It is fascinating how much the plants eat the soil. When we are done with a season, the soil will have dropped around 6 to 12 inches. We are continually buying manure, soil (black), and adding compost for to have healthy dirt. We know if the dirt is healthy if the worms we purchased and put into the soil have multiplied and filled the bed. Worms are not common here.

Our growing season is 60 days give or take a day. We can plant and harvest if we are diligent 4 times a year. We just harvested corn and have watermelon, cantaloupe, beans, basil, and various squashes growing.


Cyndy said...

*cough*choke*cough* 30 tomato plants??? That is ambitious to say the least!!

The moon is such a lovelier way to refer to this area than my preferred method. And digging for worms should be a rite of passage for all kids!

LeAnn said...

I enjoyed reading about your garden. I like the box you have to grow your garden in. Thanks for sharing the ideas.
Blessings to you and keep on enjoying those moments.
Living Waters by LeAnn

Sue said...

Good for you! I like box gardening. My son does it, too.


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