My mom always said that here in Michigan we should always have our flowers planted by Memorial Day. Well Memorial Day was almost two weeks ago, and I’ve not planted a single thing in our raised garden beds.
Is planting a garden late even worth the time spent?
Despite the fact that life got busy, DIY projects got complicated and we went on vacation, we knew we wanted a Summer garden. This past weekend we all planted some of our favorite flowers, herbs and veggies. There’s something so special about growing your own food, and I’ve noticed our kids are much more interested in eating food they’ve grown.
With all of us working together it only took an afternoon to get our plants in the ground. To boost morale we took a break which turned into a picnic under a tree, then it was back to planting! Our raised garden beds are one of the best things about our yard in the Summer. Even though it went in late we’re happy to have it growing!
Why Garden with Raised Beds?
Last Spring right in the middle of quarantine we had these three raised beds built on the side of our yard. Raised beds allow for easy access to your plants, keep cute little critters away from your veggies (you remember Peter Rabbit) and give the gardener the opportunity to work with rich soil. In short, raised bed gardening is even more fun.
WATCH OUR VIDEO OF US PLANTING OUR RAISED GARDEN BEDS
We had our raised beds made from non treated wood because we knew we didn’t want to worry about chemicals leaching into our food. We’d much rather replace any rotted wood years form now than risk our health. If you decide to build raised beds, make sure the dimensions of the bed allow you to reach the center from both sides. Two of our beds measure 3’x6′ and one measures 3’x3′. Since lumber is sold in 6′ lengths we made sure to utilize all we had bought.
What to Plant?
This year we decided to plant some of the same flowers and vegetables that did well last year. This bed is all vegetables with marigolds lining the perimeter. The marigolds do a wonderful job of keeping away pests. Our tomatoes liked where we planted them last year, and we’ll add bamboo sticks for them to climb.
This bed is my favorite because it’s all cutting flowers and a little strawberry plant. It was so relaxing to come out to the garden last year and gather flowers for the house. One half of the bed is filled with dahlias and the other half with cosmos and aster. The bamboo sticks support the dahlias as they grow taller and taller. We wrap green jute twine around each plant and its stick which keeps it from tipping over.
The smallest raised bed is a mixture of vegetables and flowers. I have one perennial, a phlox, in the middle of this bed. It made it through the Winter which I was excited about. Sometimes perennials freeze in raised beds during the cold months, but I had surrounded this one with pumpkins we had used to decorate our front porch. It gave insulation to the phlox, compost for the soil, and we got two seedlings from last year’s pumpkins. We also have two edible flowers in this bed. Nasturtium and Calendula are amazing plants with medicinal properties and benefits for the soil they grow in.
Where to Place Your Raised Bed
Where you decide to locate your raised bed is entirely up to you, but there are two factors to keep in mind. Light and water. Plants need ample amounts of both so we placed our raised beds in an area of our yard that receives between 7 and 9 hours of direct sunlight. We also put our plant near the a lawn sprinkler so we don’t have to bother watering it daily. It gets watered when our lawn gets watered.
Always celebrate the hard work of planting with a toast to the harvest ahead. Preferably under the shade of a nice big tree.
Hope the answers to these questions have made it a little more likely that you’ll try a raised bed someday. Growing and harvesting plants is such a healthy way to spend the long, warm days of Summer.
Do you have a green thumb? Tell me your favorite flower in the comments below.