I’ve been talking for a long time about the idea of creating a small vegetable garden on our land here. We’ve got a few fruit trees, which were planted by the previous owners of the house, and my kids bought me two chickens for Mothers Day this year, so my enthusiasm for such things has been resparked, and I’ve really wanted to get into it and make a garden bed.
I had, in fact tried my hand at digging a small patch of ground up, at the side of my chicken coop, but with my arthritis, and general lack of fitness, that has now become a composting pile where I am dumping waste from the chicken coop when I clean it out and will add other garden waste to it as it accumulates. So, I needed to find another way of creating a garden bed, preferrably raised, slightly to save my having to bend too much. I’d been eyeing off a ‘raised garden bed’ frame in the latest Bunnings catalogue for $59AUD and was quite excited at the prospect of going next week, to buy one.
Sandra, though who is ever the more frugal of us, had another idea. She thought that with some of the existing landscaping, and what bits and pieces we have lying around the sheds and yard, we could probably make a raised, no dig garden bed for ourselves. So, today we got out in the sunshine and scouted around the yard for some old pavers we’d had for some time and scraps of wood and anything else we thought might be useful and selected a spot to build our garden.
The plan was to dig a trench and set the pavers into it on their sides.
We kind of wished that we had some cement mix at this point, as it would have made the seating of the pavers a bit stronger, but as we didn’t, we had to make do. While we were working, a couple of curious onlookers came by to see what all the comotion was about–and if it meant there was something nice to eat in the offing?
My chickens are like the Bobsy twins; completely inseparable.
After the chickens lost interest in us, we got the rest of the pavers seated, and then lined the bottom of our ‘garden’ with newspapers.
After that, the papers need to be soaked with water so that they will break down underneath the straw/hay which will go in next. That part was where we struck a hitch.
Whilst Sandra made repairs to the wall, I went to gather the grass clippings, aka hay for the next layer.
We then filled up the garden bed with hay, and soaked it with water to start it breaking down into compost.
The stakes at either end are to support the pavers, but we will also tie string around them to run peas and beans onto when we finally plant. This will be left a few days now, to settle and break down before we add more hay to it.
It will be a little while yet, before it is ready for planting, but it feels good to have actually started it.
We’re going to go shopping in a few days and buy a worm farm as I want to use vermicasts and worm tea for my garden as fertilizer etc.