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This weekend, I spent a lot of time out in my vegetable gardens.  I harvested carrots, the last of the cauliflower, herbs and green beans.

I am still amazed at how much I enjoy working in the garden, growing vegetables.

My new vegetable garden is doing very well.  Yesterday, I took a photo of it from a different perspective – at the ground level….

You can see the stepping stones leading their way through a ‘forest’ of bush beans, marigold, cucumbers, cosmos and corn.  It’s all very green and lush.
The carrot tops look like miniature trees, don’t they?
*Okay, I realize that carrots are NOT a warm-season vegetable and I have no idea how it ended up in my new vegetable garden that we planted this spring.  But it looks pretty, so they can stay – even if I don’t get any carrots.
  
Here is a different view of the garden, where I spent some time harvesting green beans.
I need to start building supports for my cucumbers to climb up on.
In the back part of the garden, corn is rising up quickly….I can hardly wait!

It is hard to believe that this vegetable garden was brand new only nine weeks ago…



If you would like to read about how we built our garden and planted it, you can visit my previous posts, if you like:




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I hope you have a great week ahead!

I will be hitting the road again soon with my mom on another road trip.  Last year we visited the Midwest for 10 days.  This year we are going to a totally new area.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it and of course, I will blog from the road 🙂


Isn’t it true that most projects take longer then you plan on?

Still, I always approach projects with optimism that I will be able to finish in just a couple of days.

Of course, things just seem to come up with the kids and work.  I get really busy this time of year when people’s gardens are starting to grow again.

But finally, our new vegetable garden is finished!

Here are the last few steps…

 

 We added compost and manure to the existing soil (1/4 compost, 1/4 manure and 1/2 native soil) and mixed them together.  I finished it off by adding bone and blood meal, which are natural sources of phosphorus and nitrogen that will release slowly over time.  
You can simply add a mixture of compost and manure to your raised bed and no native soil if you desire.  This is easier, but I feel that working the soil down to a depth of 8 inches, helps with the growth of root vegetables.
 
My husband built fences for the raised bed because we have dogs and they don’t always stay out of the garden.  That and they love carrots.

We bought 6′ fence planks and then cut them in half.  A 3 ft. high fence is enough to keep them out.  The fence planks were attached at the top using a narrow strip of wood.  
 The base for the garden is made from a 2″ wide, 10″ high and this piece was 12 ft long.  We used pine wood for our garden.  Pine won’t last forever, but it will last for a few years and is relatively inexpensive.  Of course, you can use cedar, which will last a very long time, but it can be rather expensive.
**There is some controversy regarding using pressure treated wood for vegetable gardens because of the chemicals used in the process and whether or not they ‘leach’ into the soil.
 
My husband built a removable gate into the garden without using any hinges or latches.


As you can see, this removable gate has a narrow strip of wood on the inside and the other strip is on the top of the other side.

The gate slides down into the opening with the bottom strip of wood, resting on the raised bed on the inside and the outer wooden strip on the top fits on the outside.

 You can see how the gate fits, above.
We all had fun putting the sides up…it took three of us – two to hold the sides up while my husband attached the brackets.
The entire time we were putting up the sides, we were visited by a curious and hungry Anna’s hummingbird.  He would stop by every 5 minutes or so.
 

I planted sweet corn, bush beans and cucumbers in my new garden in addition to marigolds, nasturtium and bachelor’s button, which will attract pollinators and help keep harmful insects away.

I promise to show photos as soon as my seedlings come up 🙂

I’ve got a large pile of dirt outside my kitchen window.

But, we are making progress on our new vegetable garden.  Today, we amended the existing soil with equal amounts of compost and aged steer manure.  Then added bone and blood meal, which are natural sources of phosphorus and nitrogen.

Here are pictures of what we did today.  (Not super exciting, but we are getting there).


(If you’re looking for some new tools for gardening click here).


Four of my favorite things….my husband, daughter, dogs Missy & Tobey and compost!
Sprinkling bone meal (Beware of dogs digging afterward – they love the smell of bone and blood meal).
Everyone joins into to mix the compost, manure, bone and blood meal with the existing soil.
Isn’t it interesting how fresh dirt attracts both dogs and little boys?
Our next step is to put up the sides and fence.  Then we will rake the soil smooth and get the irrigation ready.
I can’t wait to plant seeds!
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I must admit that I didn’t do much of the work today in the vegetable garden.  I was busy preparing dinner for Sunday night, which is my daughter Ruthie’s 14th birthday party.  I made my special ‘Baked Spaghetti’ with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, sausage, green peppers, herbs and of course – spaghetti. 
I had to make 3 batches to feed everyone.  Our extended family is coming over along with Ruthie’s friend.

I kept the kitchen window open so that I could watch their progress while I was cooking.  I don’t keep a screen on my kitchen window since I have a hummingbird feeder in front of the window and I like to take pictures without the screen in the way.
I did get a visit today from a female Anna’s hummingbird.  She was 3 feet away from me while I stood at the kitchen sink.  I am so thankful that she didn’t fly in the house.
I made an Angel Food Heath Bar dessert for the first time.  I got it out of an Amish cook book that I saw when we visited Amish country in Indiana last year.  It has angel food cake, caramel, whip cream and heath bar in it.  The kids had fun watching me make homemade caramel.  I had fun tasting it 😉

I’m so excited for this 3-day weekend.

How about you?
What are you doing this weekend?