Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Planning my new vegetable beds for Spring

It's that time of year where I dream about all of the beautiful things I'm going to grow in my garden.  This year, I pulled out my raised beds out of the backyard after the summer crops were in because I'm planning to relocate the vegetable garden to my front side yard.  My raspberries, grapes, plums, apple, fig and oranges can stay in the backyard with the hens and do just fine, so I'm not relocating any trees or big stuff so that's very nice!

I am doing this for 1 reason and 1 reason only.  My chickens!  Whilst I love them to the moon and beyond, they just would not play nicely with my vegetable beds and once they discovered that the dirt in my beds was the absolute best for dust bathing and was full of tasty tender veggies, they couldn't resist.

Since I LOVE watching them run around and forage, {we call it watching chicken tv in my house} I thought the best solution was to separate the vegetables from the chickens.  So I ripped out my raised beds and need to figure out what to do next.

I'll have slightly less space in the new area but a very different layout because I'll be surrounded by walls on all sides.  Great sun exposure though and plenty of heat, which is definitely my preference.  Here is my proposed layout.  This is a potager garden, so the graphic works except that I'll mark everything off as a square foot garden

My current beds are 4 feet by 8 feet and I have 4 of them, so what I'll do is the following:

Step 1: Cut 2 of the 4x8 beds in half and add a new piece of wood to 'close' the 4th side of each.  That will give me the 4 corner beds you see above.  They will each be 4 x 4

Step 2: In the center, I will use my 4 galvanized washtubs and I will not plant a tree in the center this year, but maybe a small fig next year.

Step 3: That leaves me with 2 more 4x8 beds which I will cut into quarters and use additional lumber to close off the sides. They will each be 2 x 2.

Next up is my calculations on how many square feet of space I will have!  I'll show you in the next post how to calculate the square feet as well as the cubic yards of soil needed to fill the new beds.

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