Building a Garden Box

Building a backyard garden is something I’ve always wanted to do since I bought my house. 2017 was the year to make that happen. In order to keep things looking nice, I decided a garden box was the best approach. Below is a small photo diary of that process.

April: Digging out the foundation for the garden box. It was harder than it looks because the location in the yard has a small slant to it. I had to dig out more of the back of the foundation to ensure an even fitting.

April: I used lumber and deck screws from Home Depot to construct a simple wooden rectangle. Using a sledge hammer, I placed the box in the ground and evened it out as much as possible.

April: With the box in place, I hammered stakes into the ground and screwed them in place. This will help keep the box firmly fixed to its location. You can see that the yard runs flush with the back of the box — this is due to the yard slant. I then filled the box with a mixture of garden soil and the dirt I had dug up. In the middle are starter tomato plants.

Late April: The tomato plants have continued growing. The squash is starting to peek out of the ground. I used garden sticks to help maintain the tomato growth.

Late May: The garden has really taken off now. All plants, including tomatoes, squash, cucumber, and beets (which failed), are coming along nicely.

June: First squash harvest.

July: Cherry and grape tomatoes are plentiful.

At the time of this writing (July 2017), the garden is in full swing, with all plants bearing fruit. The beets unfortunately failed due to the ground being too compact for their growth. But we’ve had the following yields: cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, big boy tomatoes, squash, and cucumber. Under the direction of my fiance, we planted Marigolds at each corner since they are supposed to keep bugs under control.

Big lessons learned:

  • Tomato plants grow to freakish heights. I had to add supporting poles to keep them in place. Next year they get their own garden box.
  • Beets will not grow in hard, clay-like dirt. I may try putting ground plants into their own box filled with loose dirt and sand.
  • Watering doesn’t need to occur as frequently as one might think. I’ve reduced my watering to only a couple of times a week.
  • Be prepared to have a lot of tomatoes. I may need to get some sort of canning system going.
  • Vegetables you grow yourself taste much better than those from the supermarket.
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