Having recently purchased a home in the Lakes Region that came equipped with two raised garden beds, I was eager to grow something edible this summer. The last two months, I’ve been patiently waiting for the right time to start the garden and this past weekend was it. Gearing up for this adventure, I’ve been asking advice from friends and reading up on the best methods for starting a small garden (Apartment Therapy started an article series called Garden School that I’ve been glued to).
As it’s early in the summer, I have nothing edible to report on yet, but I did learn a great deal in this endeavor from space planning to shopping.
Prepare the Garden Beds
Since I inherited these raised beds from the previous owner, I didn’t really know what kind of soil there was or how long it had been there. As I was getting new bags of soil to fill the beds (which were a bit low), I definitely underestimated how much soil and dirt I’d need. A few trips to the store could have been condensed into one if I had measured the beds against the standard measure of a bag of soil. Also, I doubt my car could hold that much soil, but that’s another story.
Have a Clear Plan
Yes, have a plan for starting your garden. Once I got into the greenhouses of Appletree Nursery in Tilton, I wanted everything. Any list or plan I had was quickly forgotten because literally everything sounded awesome. Luckily, I did have a plan and was able to reel the enthusiasm back in to only get what I needed (and started a mental catalogue of all of the possibilities if I created more garden beds!).
Space Disappears Quickly
This is really where the plan comes in handy. I had adopted several vegetable plants: green peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, summer squash, roma tomatoes, lettuce and Brussels sprouts. Along with some herbs: thyme, cilantro and oregano (future plans for basil and mint). The amount of space that each plant needs quickly takes up the entirety of each bed. Definitely ensure you’re reading up on the needed space for each plant as you’re mapping out the layout of the beds.
The results of the planting are below, but the three main takeaways here are to prep your garden beds, have a plan and ensure that your plan accommodates the necessary space for each plant so you don’t end up with an overcrowded garden!