With my ever growing heirloom tomato obsession we were long overdue for an expansion of our kitchen garden. After growing all our herbs and vegetables for years in a relatively small raised bed along the South side of our house, a new patch of rich soil is poses exciting prospect! Armed with my spring veggies, both from seed and from the garden center, Ive been spending the weekends planting tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, peppers, dill, basil... and all my other favorites!
Last year, although our vegetable bed looked luscious and full in the spring, a nasty virus spread through the tomatoes, a chance I took by planting them in the same spot year after year. But with tomatoes taking up more than half of the bed, and a big hop vine in the way, I really had no option. Luckily, we had a spot in the full sun that was free this year. After taking out a dead dogwood tree, we had converted this sloping spot into our little hop yard last winter.
|Erecting the hop trellis system last winter.. look at that clay soil!|
With a little bit of convincing, Brian let go of a little hop space and knowing that he had to dig up all the hops, was willing to build us a new bed... a level one, with good soil fitting a production area. With a few 2 by 4s from a local lumber yard, a yard of garden soil plus a half a yard of home-grown compost, and a lot of hand-tilling with our two shovels, the spot transformed in an afternoon.
We decided to only build up one side to keep with the natural look of the beds in the back yard. Stacked rocks from the stream behind our property were added to the sides to prevent any erosion. The terracotta pot was my little addition... I cant wait for the Dahlia to pop up later this spring! And Brian's hops should enjoy the new soil and a little more attention this summer.