Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BIG project

It's time for another big project. Only this time it's gonna be a BIG project.

Last time we took metal pallet boxes and turned them into some shooting tables for our little homemade rifle/firing range in Alabama. It came out really good, with some modifications.

This time we will take those same boxes and make some new garden beds... Yup. You heard, uh... read that right. My plan is to take galvanized steel boxes that look like this:
and in the end we hope to have something that looks somewhat decent and not completely funky. Something that is functional, and not too bad to look at.
In the fall I decided to only plant a tiny 4' space of winter veggies in preparation for this extra large project. I knew that if it came time to actually work on the project and I had veggies in the ground my poor little heart would stammer and I would not want to hurt any growing plants. While I've suffered with very few veggies from the garden, we don't spend a lot of time at home in the winter as we spend much of it traveling back and forth to Alabama. So we already knew the timing would be perfect.
For anyone not familiar with the current layout of my beds I have only had one set of garden beds for a year and I'm already changing them so certainly this was a flawed system. I should have tried to get the higher beds in place at that time, but I failed to do so.
Now that I am trying to work around some of my existing beds the project becomes interesting. I'll have lower beds next to taller beds, trees in between beds and I really wish I could afford a professional landscaper because I"m afraid I'll end up with something undesirable looking. Not to mention I need a pro to tell my stubborn husband that those citrus trees are indeed diseased and need to come OUT! (I digress)
SO here is what I have planned. I will lose only a few feet of garden space, but in the long run I hope to be a happier, healthier gardener.
These are the 2 main beds now... well recently. Right now they are mostly barren. The one in the center of the yard only has zucchini, a tomato, some mint and leeks in it, the rest is all gone in preparation for this project. I suppose I should say that the 2 citrus trees area also still standing. The grapefruit has not produced anything in over a year, but the cocktail tree is still trying. They both have greening unfortunately and we've been fighting the disease somewhat successfully but we are no longer get any truly usable fruit off it. Instead we are using our 'sweet' fruit as lemons. :-(
28' length in plantable space by 3' will become 3 or 4 boxes that are 4'x42" depending on space restrictions. I'll lose at least 20 ft in area so hopefully the new system will be more productive and have less disease issues to make up for the loss in space.
After the middle section of the garden is resectioned and those planters are done I'll start worrying about raising the planter against the fence. It will have it's own challenges. The 2 ends have established blueberry bushes and I don't want to raise those perennial beds. It's also very narrow there and would not allow the full width of one of those 42" boxes. This area may be tiered so that I can use a trellis for my beans in one section.
Work begins this weekend on the first of the beds. I sure hope it gets beyond the planning stages!
See you soon!

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