I had a birthday recently. Happy birthday to me! It was a quiet birthday; we didn’t plan any sort of party, dinner, or even a date. A friend was on leave from the military so we saw him for the first time in at least a year, and Steven got us teriyaki so I didn’t have to cook. Quite uneventful, and I found myself more or less okay for that. However, I did ask for a certain gift to make my little new gardener’s heart happy. I asked Steven to make me raised garden beds.
Oh, do raised garden beds make many gardeners drool, and for so many reasons. I’ll go into more details once they’re built, but raised beds are good for weed control, ease of reach, more vegetables in a space, looks, soil quality, and more.
I wanted them before I started gardening, but wasn’t able to put the beds in the budget at the time, so I made do with in-ground beds this year. I do not want to have to do that again. The squash vines got mowed over once, and then hubby gave up mowing too close to the beds. The grass kept trying to get into the beds, and weeds were a losing battle that I didn’t even try hard to fight.
The garden hasn’t retired yet, but when it does Steven will be making me at least three 4’x12′ raised garden beds. If we have the resources to do more, there will be a few smaller beds put in as well. I just can’t wait!
Once the beds are in, I want to smother the grass and mulch the whole garden area. Mowing between the beds won’t be necessary at all then, and it will reduce weeds even less. If there’s no grass or dandelions growing around the beds, there’s less seeds getting into them, right?
I will probably also eventually put a little fence and gate into the garden to keep kids from wandering in. Next summer I will have a three year old and a one year old. They will be kicked outside to play frequently I’m sure. As you can imagine, I would prefer for play to not include ruining mommy’s garden. I also hope to own a dog in the next few years, so it will keep a puppy from ruining the garden eventually too.
Really, it’s going to be a beautiful little space. Our side yard has an angled fence that narrows the gap between fence and house to only twelve or fifteen feet-ish, and it’s fully fenced in. It’s seclusion would make it less appealing for the kids to play in were it just an empty grass space. I can see it from the dining room, so I can sit at the table or in the window and dream.
I cannot even describe how much I’m looking forward to looking out the window and not seeing overgrown grass. And weedy vegetable beds. And squash vines sprawling through the grass. It’s just a mess out there right now. A mess that’s currently working on a beautiful head of broccoli, some squash, and carrots, but a pretty big mess nonetheless.
I hate big messes.
Raised garden beds aren’t big messes.
I cannot wait!