Tools & Tips

Spring Veggie Bed Upgrade

Photos by Valerie

Spring Quote

Today is the first day of Spring and it makes me giddy to think of getting my hands in the dirt and start planting for Summer. My garden looks so pretty in Sunset Magazine, but it’s sort of like looking at a picture of my daughters from a year ago — such sweet memories, but you see all the changes that have taken place in such a short amount of time.

Since that Sunset shoot last fall I’ve changed up those veggies beds. Gardens are a constant work in progress. With a couple of rounds of slow starts with seedlings it became apparent that the clay packed ground under the beds weren’t allowing the veggie roots to grow deep enough.

vegetable bed design

For the update, the sides of the beds were raised eight inches with an added cap around the perimeter, giving a little ledge to sit on when seeding and planting.

Ground work for vegetable beds

Pulling everything out of the beds revealed that those pesky gophers had made their way through the wire, so that had to be replaced (!*$%! gophers). To help out with that hard soil, we placed a layer of gypsum to aid the break down process.

Soil for veggie garden

A trip to our local coffee shop (thank you, Handlebar Coffee Roasters!) yielded a score of used/leftover coffee grounds in 20 pound bags. For each of the new deeper beds we added a layer of the coffee grounds near the bottom so those good worms would dig down deep to find it.

Coffee for veggie beds

Next up will be the lowdown on all I’m planting for spring and into the start of summer. My tomato dreams are brewing…hopefully those coffee grounds will lead to some juicy treasures.

Winter planting

Winter seedlings

The only sad thing about these new boxes is that they’re a bit two-toned, similar to when it’s time for a trip to the hair salon. Let’s hope they weather and blend in soon.

Valerie's Vegetable Garden

Next up is a trip to the nursery to start buying tomato plants. I’m going to try not to skip. Happy Spring!

Tuesday Tip: Little Helpers

Photos by Valerie

With summer in full swing, it’s important to have my girls eat healthy and keep busy. I had this grand idea that we wouldn’t over schedule our summer with a bunch of camps but rather enjoy lazy, hazy days together. What the hell was I thinking?

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