Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed

I was grateful today for help preparing the raised garden bed for planting. The cedar box was completed Monday. All that was lacking was soil and then I could plant the health boosting veggies grouped on my deck. 

Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed
My friend Tim arrived this morning with his pickup truck, and a wllingness to help. He and Greg spent time checking out the best options for dirt to fill the 4×8 boxes, one for me and one for my sister Linda. I appreciate both of them taking time out of their days to offer assistance. 

The best option available was bringing in a truckload of rich compost, which is provided free of charge by the city. And then adding a truckload of topsoil, available by the scoop from The Rock Yard, in Joplin. 

Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed
Thanks to Greg and Tim, the raised beds were ready to plant. I had a commitment this afternoon. And Linda had not arrived home yet from work. We were splitting some 4 packs of veggies but Linda had several favorites she still wanted to purchase. We intended to get together this evening, when we were both available, to complete her purchases and then plant our garden beds.  

Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed
Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed
Before leaving the house, I used the fun plant chart I created to lay out the veggies and melons. My gray cat Angel was intrigued by the box full of dirt and insisted on “helping”. I was excited to sow seeds and dig in my new garden, getting the plants in before dark. 

My only concern was the weather. I checked my phone’s weather app frequently throughout the day. Thunderstorms were expected late this evening, settling in for the day tomorrow. I really wanted to get the plants into the bed before the rain began. 

Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed
One certainty about Missouri is that the weather can shift quickly. I watched the sky darken as I headed home. The line of thunderstorms appeared to be arriving earlier than expected. I don’t mind gardening in a light to moderate rain. I don’t work outside though when lightning is present. 

My sister and I were headed to her house with her newly purchased plants when the first bolt of lightning forked from cloud to ground. A rumble of thunder followed. Darn! Plans shifted with the arrival of the first storm. Linda dropped me off at my house. 

So close! I had plants laid out, ready to go. I just needed 30 minutes to get them tucked into the dirt. I can be very stubborn in my determination. Tomorrow’s forecast is 100% thunderstorms. Friday’s is 50%. I eyed the mass of gray clouds, watched the weather app as the front moved through, and checked in intuitively. 

I am not recommending that anyone else challenge the weather, especially when lightning is present. The line of thunderstorms moved off to the south. Although there was a light, steady rain falling, a planting window of opportunity appeared, free from lightning. I went for it. 

I was scattering the last packets of seeds when the light rain became heavier and lightning flickered again to the southwest. Time to finish up. I snapped a pic and took cover, just as the next front rolled through. Perfect timing. 

Drink up little bedded plants! 

Planting Veggies in the Raised Bed

Creating a Raised Bed Garden

Taking advantage of continuing warm weather with an abundance of sunshine, I spent another day working in the garden. Using materials picked up yesterday, I created raised bed garden boxes, with a great deal of help from Greg, one for me and one for my sister Linda. 

Creating a Raised Bed Garden
I found a raised bed garden box that I liked, in a Country Gardens magazine. With dimensions of 4’x8′ and sides 16″ high, this box seems perfect for growing vegetables using the square foot gardening method. I used 6′ cedar fencing planks to create the box. Greg had left over pressure treated 2x4s from when he built the privacy fence. Cut into sections, they anchored the corners of the box and covered the seams on the sides. 

Creating a Raised Bed Garden
Three of the 6′ cedar planks were cut to form the 4′ ends. The 2′ leftover sections were added to the remaining 6′ lengths, staggering the seams for strength and durability, to create the longer 8′ sides. Greg ran the saw, thankfully, and in a short time, the boards were cut and ready to be assembled. 

We completed one box at a time. There was some contemplation and figuring out the best way to fasten the sides together, amid laughter and frequent breaks to guzzle bottles of water. However, we got a system going and I even used the drill to help sink the screws. 

Creating a Raised Bed Garden
Creating a Raised Bed Garden    The 8′ sides

Creating a Raised Bed Garden       The 4′ sections

After all four sides were completed on the first box, we began making my sister’s raised bed box. I’m proud of Linda for choosing to eat healthier and being willing to grow vegetables. She is committed to taking her own healing journey. 

With all the sides completed, I was excited to create my box. I don’t have space in the backyard for this raised bed. Instead, this garden is going on the sunny south side of the house, where roses used to be. Japanese beetles destroyed the roses last year. Into that blank space the raised garden box fit perfectly. We finished assembling the box in minutes. 

Creating a Raised Bed Garden
A friend is helping early Wednesday by bringing 5 cubic yards of dirt in his truck, to fill the box. He will generously tote Linda’s box to her backyard and deliver another load of dirt to her. 

I am ready! I have vegetable plants waiting on the deck and four packets of seeds to sow. I love that my healing journey has inspired me to grow my own veggies again. It has been many years since I tended anything other that flower and herb gardens. Part of taking better care of myself is to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. How fun it will be to harvest healthy goodness from my own raised bed garden. 

Creating a Raised Bed Garden