ohdeardrea header
home button food button home button “natural “travel “advertise “cookbook

Gardening Is Always A Great Metaphor For Life, Isn't It? // Raised Garden Bed Questions (And Answers)


  Gardening is a humbling experience. Even the most seasoned gardeners have to deal with bad crops. It's a part of life. It's life as a whole. It's nature. It's weather. It's everything out of your control. Even with focus, time, energy, and the most strict care, it's unpredictable. Shit happens. Like I said, it's humbling. To put your best effort into a crop and have a raid of bugs, rodents, or disease sweep through---with no concern--- because, let's be honest here, those pests and whatnot's don't care about your garden. But that's okay, why would they? But each thing that comes, good and bad, there is a learning experience. And each mishap--- especially the ones beyond your control, you find a humbling experience. And with each damaged crop, you gain another chance to move forward and try something new. Or at least try the old thing, in a new way. Regrowth. 

I have mixed feelings when I'm in the garden. I'll be honest, I can be lazy--- but then I know, it's not a "I'll pick this up when I feel like it" hobby. That's not how a garden works. If you want it to thrive, you have to put the work in. The less you put in, the less you get back. The more love, care, and attention to detail, the more growth you see. 

Then there are moments at the end of the day, when I step back there all by myself, and there's a perfect glow of sun still sitting in our space and I feel so in love and so in awe. Sappy, I know. But I'm forever happy for the space and a chance to grow. And forever happy for a chance to do this with my family, they make it worth it.

I feel like I'm losing myself in this post, but the point is, shit happens. I'm learning lessons in patience and uncontrolled misfortunes of rodents all over the place this week--- in my garden and some in my life. But I'm working hard on taking the fruit from our harvest, and enjoying it regardless, while rebuilding the rest. Through ups and downs, I've got a good thing going. Bugs come. Rodents eat your plants. Disease can kill a whole bed over night--- and you can be sad about it, or just plain lazy about it, but if you want more fruit, you've got to try again. In gardens and in life. 


A few garden questions I've been asked lately:

How much did it cost to build one bed?
Honestly, we're not sure, we bought A LOT of different supplies and tools in our garden bed building hardware store run--- We'd like to estimate it at around 80$--- but that's an estimate. 

Are you worried about the metal cause the soil to heat up too much in the sun? It's hot here, it's gotta be hot there too. 
I mean, yes, it's a concern, but we haven't seen any issues with it yet. We didn't really have a winter this year--- it's still in the 80's most days, but the soil seems fine. The morning sun doesn't hit the side of the beds for long enough to do any damage. And the full day sun hardly touches the metal.

Are you worried about rust with the metal beds?
Corrugated metal isn't supposed to rust-- hopefully, right?

What are you growing?
LOTS of things. I couldn't name them all right now if I tried. Our trees are all tropical fruit trees. The vines are passionfruit. And in the beds and pots, it's all vegetables and some herbs-- beets, beans, kale, carrots, the list goes on. I swear Alex sneaks a new plant in there everyday. But I plan on doing a whole post on it in the future.

-----------------------------------

I'm sure I'm missing questions, but I can't remember them. If you have more questions, please ask. I've slowly, but surely working on more emails. I do respond to all the them, sometimes it just takes me more time! I'll be pepper spraying the kale and the broccoli like crazy this weekend. We have a new collection of aphids living on them. (boooo.) And I'll be planning and looking forward to next week. I have friends in town (yay!)... and I may or may not be turning another year older ;)

When life gives you fallen, green tomatoes, make friend green tomatoes, right?
Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Thanks again and again for being here.

19 comments:

  1. Gardening is such a great escape for kids.....anyone with a small piece of land can do something..

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Neem oil spray has also worked wonders for me on aphids! They take a shot at ruining by beautiful honeysuckle every year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks you! Adding it to my must buy list!

      Delete
  3. We're planting next month in our raised beds for the first time, and I'm worried about our growing season. We have great soil, but Massachusetts doesn't have year round sun and warmth (as you know). And corrugated metal won't rust, so don't fret ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's so cute how your daughter helps you with gardening!

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  5. I tried to grow corn the first year we had a backyard garden (in western Mass), and it went beautifully -- until the corn was almost ready to harvest. Then, overnight, a very clever critter (a groundhog, we're pretty sure) chewed through the cornstalks. They toppled over, and then the groundhog ate the ears of corn. I was simultaneously upset and impressed! Anyway, over the past three years, we've figured out what we're good at growing -- what works thrives, and what doesn't, we figure out a different way to get :) Just like life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been hesitant with corn from the get go. It's not an easy crop in south florida. Alex tried it anyway--- it did really good, but then when it was time to replant in our beds, it just got stunted and kind of gave up on life. Honestly, I'm kind of okay with it--- one of my biggest fears is opening up corn to find maggots and cornworms. no thanks.

      Delete
  6. Your garden looks beautiful! Until know, did you have a celebration in your garden? I think it would be a perfect spot for a Birthday-Party... My very best friend has her birthday today, but sadly has to stay until tomorrow in hospital!
    But maybe next year we need to celebrate her birthday outside!

    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/03/its-my-birthday-notes-from-sickbed.html
    Bird

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I planned on it! I wanted a sparkle garden party! But I just got too swept up in life and work and I won't be able to pull it together in time. I'm hoping next month for sure. A happy birthday to your friend---- def. plan her a later birthday <3

      Delete
  7. I love your garden! We're thinking about ditching our already weed infested dying grass for raised beds and gravel as well. My question is about the gravel. . . if you don't mind me asking how much did the gravel cost and how much did you need? Also, is the gravel a pain to clean out (leaves, other plants, etc.)?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it varies place to place, but if you buy in bulk---- you can find it relatively cheap-- depending on the kind you buy of course. This basic pea gravel only cost 31$ a cubic yard (in bulk, not in bags)--- which was pretty much what we needed for the space! We do have to weed it--- which we don't do enough, but marlowe is actually a big help for that, she thinks its fun. And we don't have any large trees near us so we don't have to worry about leaves and things--- but I imagine it would be a pain to care for with constant falling leaves.

      Delete
  8. That's right, I forgot, Pisces unite! I'm so glad you are taking advantage of your space. When I had a whole yard I didn't use it, and now in my concrete jungle 3rd floor walk up, i would love a yard for a garden. C'est la vie.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a love/hate relationship with your garden posts right now - only because it hasn't been above freezing since I can't remember in Chicago this winter/spring and it feels like I will never be able to garden again :) We use raised beds in our yard too mainly because we are in an urban environment and cannot trust the soil at all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely to see your garden again. I feel exactly the same about growing our food. It's hard, hard work! And I get a bit stressed with all of the things there are to do. But at the end of the day, I'm glad I've done it. On a summer's evening, when the sun is low and warm and there's plenty to harvest, it's wonderful. How often do you have to water your raised beds? I find mine dry out quite a bit, but it is a good way to grow nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful post Drea as always. I hope the rodents disappear just as they showed up.
    Have a great filled with happiness day and have fun.
    Thank you for inspiring me each and every day. x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your garden looks awesome! Have you tried essential oils to deter pests?

    Another option, especially in hot climates...is an aeroponic Tower Garden. They were created by Tim Blank who was a manager at Epcot's Living with the Land. They are made with food grade materials and recycle water so they offer a more sustainable garden. They grow 90% more produce using 90% less land and 90% less water. The water constantly recycles through the tower so the plants never wilt.

    They are also a perfect option for someone who really wants to garden but does not have a green thumb...or enjoy getting dirty and weeding.
    They are great for apartment balconies, homes, school, restaurants and more!

    You can check them out here:
    www.kpiccola.towergarden.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your garden looks awesome! Have you tried essential oils to deter pests?

    Another option, especially in hot climates...is an aeroponic Tower Garden. They were created by Tim Blank who was a manager at Epcot's Living with the Land. They are made with food grade materials and recycle water so they offer a more sustainable garden. They grow 90% more produce using 90% less land and 90% less water. The water constantly recycles through the tower so the plants never wilt.

    They are also a perfect option for someone who really wants to garden but does not have a green thumb...or enjoy getting dirty and weeding.
    They are great for apartment balconies, homes, school, restaurants and more!

    You can check them out here:
    www.kpiccola.towergarden.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Really enjoyed your post. Not surprised you got lost in the post. I get lost in my garden all the time. As for eatable crops, I haven't tried more than an herb and an avocado tree yet. I do have lots of roses and I use the metaphor of pruning my roses in relation to life's disappointments and triumphs quite a lot too. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete