Last year I started a backyard garden using raised soil beds. I had almost no experience, but planning, hard work, and a little luck turned my project into a success. I was very rewarding I would wake every morning and head right out to my garden to water and check on my crops. Watching them grow each week was very erxciting and eating the fruits of your labor is something that everyone should experience. My journey into suburban farming had me hooked and I knew I would do it again this year.
The initial financial layout was about 400 dollars. Much of this was the one time cost of the wood for the raised beds and the mulch and soil. This year a expect to spend around 100 dollars and a big portion of this will got to a new soaker hose, my old one cracked and had to be discarded. At this price my garden is probably going to be financial viable in the sense that the cost for me to grow my food should be cheaper than it would be for me to buy that same amount of produce. This is not my main reason for doing this, their are other benefits, like freshness, and quality control over my food which to me is much more important.
Last year I grew, pumpkins, watermelons, corn, and tomatoes. This year I am dropping the pumpkins. As much as a loved carving my own jack o’ lanterns the plants themselves were to much to deal with. They spread everywhere, were constantly getting mildew, and damaged a portion of my lawn. In 2015 I am swapping the pumpkins out and replacing them with potatoes. As it stands here are the crops and their respective locations.
- In the first bed, nearest to the fence I will have “Sugar Baby Watermelons” and tomatoes that I will get from my neighbor’s greenhouse, probably Rutgers and Big Beef. I planted the watermelon seeds 13 days ago.
- In the center bed I will have “Bintje Potatoes” and more Tomato Plants, I hope to have both of these in my possession within the next seven days.
- In the final bed I have planted an heirloom variety of corn, “Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn”. Last year I did exceptionally well with “Golden Bantam” corn, but the cobs were a little too thin. The Stowell corn comes highly recommended from “Annie’s Heirloom Seed”. I used their seeds last year and attribute them in a small part to my success. I am also opting to plant three rows this year over the two I did last year. This choice is a bit of a gamble, I fear that crowding the bed might backfire, but I am willing to take the risk.
I also have three large pots that are on the other side of the yard, I may decide to plant some additional crops on there. Last year I had just moved into my house on June 1st so I planted my crops on the 16th. This year I will have a whole extra six weeks to work with so it should really open up the possibilities. I will report back to you shortly with my progress, please feel free to shares your experiences or raise any questions.