Folks say, "Oh yeah, veggies are easy." But then I start reading about companion plants, the many pests, vine borers, cabbage beetles, hail, fire and brimstone--and I think to myself, "Geeze, 1,500 feet of prairie plants are WAAAAY easier than this. I don't have to touch them but once a year."
Still, making a new bed got me some exercise. An early tan. Bruises, cuts, gangrene, a nervous tic that makes me point at the ground in order to stretch my dirt-caked and contorted fingers. If this doesn't work out, I have 80 new square feet for either a trial bed or transplant bed for indoor seedlings (which are going tolerably well, about 75% germination).
|Way too tiny original bed about 2' deep.|
|Moved aluminum edging for new 4' bed.|
|Turned over 80' of wet clay fescue.|
|Added 1-1.5 yards of city soil.|
I was planning on making 5 trips with plastic tubs in my hatchback to the city dump, where there's free compost (this stuff has been magic in my garden). On the first trip I met a guy who flagged me down, offered to help me load my car, then offered to deliver all the compost I'd need for a modest fee. Local landscaping companies would've charged five times as much. I was a happy camper who doesn't like camping.
Since this is my first year flirting with vegetables, I just ordered seeds I could get with a coupon--no heirlooms, nothing too fussy I hope. Broccoli, spinach, eggplant, bush beans, pole beans, summer squash, watermelon, pumpkin. The pumpkin and pole beans I'll sow elsewhere in my main garden once the tulips die back (and since they're blooming 4 weeks early, this should be well before the "normal" last frost date in early May).