Making Room For A Cutting Garden
Like most gardeners, I spend the winter thinking about how I’m going to change my garden for the next season; what worked and what didn’t. Also, like most gardeners, I think I need more space to do it. Here’s how I’m expanding my garden this Spring.
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My Garden Space
I started my garden 4 years ago, the first Spring we were in this house. I picked a sunny patch on the side of the house.
The first couple of years it was 16×16 feet. For a small space it was prolific.
Last year I expanded it another 8 feet in length. The white picket fencing came in a kit and was discontinued so I used the metal Tposts and plastic fencing.
I wrote a post about my Vegetable Garden last year.
Why I’m Expanding My Garden
I spent the winter dreaming of having a flower cutting garden and scrolling the Floret Flowers site (great resource to learn about flowers!!) Last year I saw so many beautiful pictures of cutting gardens and bouquets of amazing flowers that I knew I needed to make space for one!
I decided that the optimal location for growing flowers would be where my extisting garden is because it has sun all day long.
Clearing the Space
Since this area was lawn the quickest way to transform it into garden space is to rototill it. I thought my arm were going to fall off by the time I was done!!
I’m expanding my garden roughly 16 more feet forward to house the new cutting garden.
After I rotilled, the next (grueling) step was to remove all the grass chunks…I have to be honest, it’s tedious!
My plan is to move my existing cute white fence forward so it looks pretty from the street and then use green T posts and green metal garden fencing for the back portion.
So I took off the front panels of my fence first and then proceeded to move the panels from the back of the garden to the front.
Now that the fence was done…I took 3 Motrin and a hot shower!!
Adding Raised Beds
I knew I wanted to grow my flowers in raised beds for a couple of reasons: first, this area was just lawn about a day ago and the soil is junk and second, they just look cute!
I was going to build some but the price of lumber is crazy right now so I opted for 4 of these wooden raised bed kits from Amazon.
There were already 2 metal raised beds in the garden (they were the beginning of my old space) and I decided to buy 4 more metal beds for the veggie part of my garden. (these are the ones I bought)
Both the wood and metal raised bed kits are super easy to put together. For the wood one the pieces just slide into the supports; the metal one is screws and wingnuts (took me about 20 minutes to build).
The wood kit is natural wood so I decided to stain it with my favorite color Minwax Classic Gray. I’m going for a cottage garden vibe and that stain color just makes the new wood look aged and weathered.
OK…after all my labor here’s what the expanded garden space looks like after I dragged in all the raised beds (and rearranged them a few times).
Filling Raised Beds
The method I’m going to use is called the no till method or lasagna gardening. It’s basically building layers in the raised bed.
First, I used cardboard boxes (actually the box the bed came in) to line the bed. I gave it a good soaking with the hose when I was done. The cardboard will keep down the weeds and grass by smothering them, but it’s also a natural material and it will organically breakdown over time.
Then you need to add organic matter to the bed. You could use straw, sticks, decomposing leaves as a base with compost layered on top.
We have a giant compost heap out back of all the yard clippings, leaves,sticks, old plants etc. from the past few years. It’s super rich!! This is what I am using to fill all the beds.
That took a Sunday to fill all the beds!! The extra mulch was spread all over the garden paths.
There’s a peak of the Cottage Garden Trellis I made last week…I’m planning to make a few more for this cutting garden too.
I’ll be finishing up the new fencing this week…then it’s time to plant!! Whoo-hoo!!