Hello once again my fellow organic veggie growing slow food foodies! I have learned a few things since moving into my first house that I own. Know when to call in the professionals! And of course, learn who is best out among the many choices to hire is a second biggie! This is how it came to be when I had my raised vegetable garden container built just a few days ago. And here is it seen at left (though it’s only one length side is seen in this photo). My new raised vegetable gardening container ended up being a full eight feet deep by twenty-six deep long by roughly fifteen inches tall. Once some vegetables start producing, I will have only a few feet to walk outside my home to grab some fresh peppers and lettuce! Now that’s what I call slow food organic ready!
So with all the many perennial flower beds I recently ‘inherited’ when I purchased this home I had little knowledge of what really existed in the garden beds except for those few I could easily identify. And since our first snow hit the ground not one week after I moved in, it has only been till now, a full four months later that I get to discover what survived these last two years of the garden’s lack of care and tending.
Lucky indeed, just this past weekend, I had a serious luxury of the gardener who used to tend to my very own garden for the previous owner of this house come over and visit me with his two lovely young girls who played all over the back yard while he and I discussed the gardens. I cannot tell you how vital an experience it was for me to have the former gardener stop by and share a wealth of information about my new ‘land’.
First I asked since I knew that the previous owner had cats, where there might be a beloved pet buried on the grounds. Yeah I know, a rather horrid of a question to ask, but would it not have been even more horrid to start digging and finding said skeletal remains of a beloved pet? There is no where I was about to do want to discover and unearth someone’s past pet, and so, Jerry, the former gardener clearly showed me the area and assured me the former pet was buried very very deep. Whew!
This brings me to other questions I asked of him. I learned that I have a fruit-producing pear tree! Who knew!? What I thought was simply an old flowering tree of sorts that had had a hard time with a few broken limbs which then shot up new branches, was actually a pear tree – and no, I do not know yet what sort of pears. Also in turns out that the old apple tree that sites right outside my office doesn’t produce edible fruit, and in fact produces very little, so the thought of removing it will be OK. But for now, I will trim it up to fix its shape once it goes through its flowering season and since I still hang the many bird feeders that seriously helped the birds be fed over this past extra snowy winter, I won’t trim it back too far.
Know When to Call in The Pros When Constructing A Raised Vegetable Garden Container
And it turns out that Jerry was also good pals (knew each other since they were kids as they grew up with each other) with the person I hired to construct a raised vegetable garden container. Another whew! Why whew?! Well, one of the very first things I have always enjoyed about living in a small town/city is to go to your local town hardware store. They can be a huge resource for you for recommendations. I have asked them several times and their recommendations have always turned into great working relationships and results with the right people being hired. Not only did the people I hired support ‘local’ businesses like I do myself – the mom and pop shops for mindful spending, but their work ethics, affordability and professionalism outweighed what I initially experienced when I first moved into this home and hired the wrong contractors to do some fixing up around the home.
I knew I wanted a raised vegetable garden as it is one of the very best back-saving, highly producing ways to garden. I also knew I would need good dirt. And where was I to start? Originally we had planned to have three 8’x8′ boxes which then turned out to become one 8′ x 8′ x 1.5′ container. This rectangular design would make mowing around the structure easier. As we ended up with nearly 6 cubic yards of soil, we now see we need more. And I am in the process of adding mulch, compost and other organic materials to make the dirt easier to work with. FYI there’s 27 cubic feet to 1 cubic yard. (3’x3x’3′ = 27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard)
TIP: When constructing a raised beds and gardening containers:
Definitely layout the perimeter in the design that you want, then add the soil with finally constructing the sides. Hauling dirt over an already constructed wall is way too much effort. It’s way easier to do the dirt moving before you construct the wall sides!
So yes, I could have bought the materials all myself, but the longer than anticipated time and over-extended effort it would have taken me to complete the building of the raised vegetable container would have far outweighed the success I would experience so quickly had I not delegated this task of constructing my raised vegetable garden container to a pro contractor. It was worth every penny I spent, which leaves me now to the fun part of designing where I will be planting my many vegetables this coming weekend!