This year’s vegetable garden preparations begin…

Winter is almost over, and it is time to get the garden beds ready for this year’s garden.  This was the state of the old beds after they sat untended since we pulled out all the plants at the end of autumn:

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Here is another angle (really just a gratuitous shot of my made-with-pallets compost bins again):

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I have decided to rebuild the two beds into one larger bed with sturdier edging, and I was given some second hand garden sleepers by a friend which means I can make a raised garden bed this time!

I started by pulling all the old edging up, removing the carpet which we had laid down around the beds to help stop the tenacious Vinca from taking over,  pulling out all the weeds, and then I forked the soil a bit.

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Then I did a lot of measuring of the space, measuring of all the sleepers I had, and calculations of how big a bed I could make with the sleepers I have.  This is my scribbled page with colour coding (and dirt) to help me work out which sleepers I need to cut to what size:

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As you can probably probably can’t tell from my diagrams and calculations, I decided on a bed 2.41m long by 1.5m wide.  That way I get to use the longest sleepers without cutting them, and we will also have room to kneel down beside the bed all the way around.  Once I had worked out the size, I laid out the long side sleepers 1.5m apart, and squirted a squeegie-bottle of chalk along the edge of each sleeper to mark where to dig a trench to sit the sleepers in so they would be a bit more securely seated, and so I could level the top of the garden bed so it is horizontal, rather than sloping with the ground.  I used a level for the first time in my life!  Jolly clever little tool really.

After a lot of hard slog digging the trenches and seating the edging in, this is how it looks so far:

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I then mixed some sugar cane straw in over the whole area, because the soil I dug up from the trenches is mostly clay.  There is some good soil there too,  which we made from the no-dig lasagne last year, and there will be a new lasagne of cardboard, poo, lucerne, & straw laid once I finish the edging.

That’s as far as I got.  Stay tuned for the completion of the raised garden bed in another post… I am about to head out to cut some sleepers to size with a circular saw now.  EEP!

Oh, one more thing- in my last veggie garden post I said I couldn’t find any photos of the eggplants we grew.  Well I found one!  I also found photos of the delicious pasta sauce and salad I made from this home grown produce:

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