New raised garden beds with new seedings

Over the last couple years some of our vegetable plots have started to struggle. Initially we heavily amended our suffocating clay soil and were able to get some initial herb plantings to take off.  Each spring we continued to amend and soften the soil and attempted to expand our cultivating repertoire to include various veggies. They did ok, but “thriving” wasn’t a term we’d use to describe them.  The heavy soil was more than what the plants wanted to deal with.

plenty of greens seedlings ready for salad

This past November, just before the non-stop holiday madness began, we decided to make those plots into raised planters and what a seriously huge improvement it’s been! For less than $100 in redwood and stakes, we were able to turn change over those plots. Now they’re raised and full of wonderful organic compost and virgin soil.

Luckily we are in Southern California and won’t have to wait until summer to see how the plants like the new soil.  Our winter weather is more like most regions’ spring-time weather.  Cool, days of rain, and the temperatures getting close to frost point at night but hopefully never hitting that low.

strong posts to hold wood panels

We’ve started out our raised planters with a bunch of seeds.  Various lettuce, mizuna, broccoli, carrots, sugar snaps, snow peas, Japanese leeks (negi), fluffy top Chinese cabbage, soy beans, brussells sprouts, and probably a couple other things that we’ve forgotten to label.  The fluffy soil and winter’s rains have jump started everything and the day in which we start harvesting won’t be far off.  Very exciting!

In making our planters, we kinda did it from the seat of our pants.  Ree over at Pioneer Woman has a much better tutorial than what we could offer, so go check it out here if you want to make your own beds.

above: clinging pea tendrils and below: lettuce seedlings

**Those of you in the snow, don’t be jealous!  Think of this as an inspiration for your own gardens in a couple of months.  Your weather also provides you with growing opportunities that we don’t have here.  Our apples and cherries suck compared to yours!  Every area has its advantages.