Sunday, April 3, 2011

Raised Bed Garden...Yay!

It all started last year when my hubby made raised bed containers for our strawberry plants...

Before, when the strawbs were at ground level, when we weren't fighting off the weeds, we were weeding out snails. Ugh! Those little suckers love strawberries! Then there was the 3 ft. long snake *water moccasin - highly venemous*. EEK! It was looking for water in the hot summer months and thankfully got tangled up in the netting before it could get to us. Anyway, this is where we fell in love with the whole raised bed system!

So... this year, my hubby decided to take it a step further and made a few more raised beds for the vegetable part of our garden. Big J loves to build things and is very good at it, so we are very blessed to not have all the added costs of purchasing a kit or having to have someone else do all the work. Blue-eyed Boy, our son, likes helping his Dad too and he is learning valuable skills he can use in the future.

Here is how our garden looked when we first started...

And here are the two raised beds Blue-eyed Boy helped his Dad build.

A few weeks ago, we planted a whole mess of stuff...

-asparagus (first time to try)
-purple hull peas
-peanuts (first time to try)
-bush beans
-pole beans (first time to try)
-lima beans (first time to try)

Whew! Ok, I think that is it :)

As far as resources are concerned, we usually just go off of what has or has not worked for us in years past. We also talk a lot with our friends and family who garden and share tips and ideas with each other.

Aside from the garden, we also have lots of fruit trees. We have been really excited to see the honey bees out and about. They've been pretty slim the last few years, but they were out in full force this year. They sure do like satsumas! We used that whole process to begin discussing pollination with the kids.    

Speaking of kids - -  we try to get them involved as much as we can and for as long as their attention spans can handle-LOL! In the first stages, they used their little hoes to go behind their daddy and his tiller to help break up any large clumps of soil left behind. They also helped us throw any of the larger, easier-to-grab weeds out of the garden area. This year, the kiddos helped us plant a few rows of the corn, some of the potatoes, and the peanuts. We also plan to get the kiddos to help us *try* to keep the garden weed free. I know the raised bed areas will be easier to manage. As far as the remaining areas, well...let's just say, we try not to lose track of where the vegetable plants are ;)

Believe it or not, we do not live out in the country. We live on 2 fairly quiet acres smack dab in the middle of a fast growing (not-so-little-anymore) town.

If you'd like to ckeck out what other homeschooling parents and their kids are doing in their gardens, then visit the link below...or better yet, if you have a garden, link up yourself :)


  1. We have a lot of snails too, I hate them! Your beds look great and I can't wait to see everything growing :)

  2. I got my kids to pick them out. LOL! One thing you might want to try...and it may be an old wives tale...but it seemed to help keep our snail population down...

    Anyway -

    We would save our coffee grounds every morning and sprinkle them out all around the strawberries. I came across this on a forum. Like I said, it did seem to help - didn't completely get rid of them - but their numbers did seem to drop when we kept up with sprinkling out the coffee grounds.

  3. Just finally getting a chance to bop around to see what everyone else is up to. Great job on the raised beds! I am completely impressed. Can't wait to see the progress. Good luck!

  4. Oh Pauline,
    Your garden looks great! I have been saying since Feb. I was going to do one...but haven't started! I like your idea of raised beds. I think I will give these a try so my husband doesn't have to rent a tiller and we don't have to get our soil checked.

    I need accountability though! Will you hold me accountable for making a garden?

    Love the pictures of the kids helping out! Great way to teach responsibility and hard work!


  5. Thanks everyone! We've been doing a garden for several years here now and we are still tweeking the whole plan and process. I figure, one of these days we'll have it down. lol!

    Christine, we have never checked our soil. We have thought about it, but just never had the chance to do it. This is our last year to try peas. We go by a '3 strikes and your out' rule. This is our 3rd year to try them, if they don't work, then we are done with em. And you guys are welcome to borrow our tiller. We've loaned it out to a few friends now. We really debated on purchasing one a few years ago, but we figure it will get enough use out of it if we lend to friends as well. So, you guys are welcome to it :)


Thanks for taking the time to read this post and leave a comment :)