Surprise! Ready Or Not Here They Come

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Winter BedLast fall after we moved into our house, we decided that we wanted to do something productive with our back yard. We both decided that we would use the area by our patio to create a raised garden bed.  Better yet, we also decided that we would create a winter garden and see how it would do during the winter season.

We went to Home Depot and purchased the lumber, compost, manure and top soil to create the raised bed.  We also purchased some PVC pipes and a plastic throw cloth so that we can create some sort of greenhouse effect for the bed. We decided that a 4×8 bed would be a good fit. We constructed the bed frame and placed it in the yard. We first added the manure, followed by the mushroom compost and then landscape top soil. This combination is really rich and should help the garden grow.

New Sprouts in Cold BedNext we needed to construct the cover for the bed. Unsure as to how this would work, we began to figure it out as we went along. We first started with taking the PVC piping and inserted it into the bed from the left side and bending it over to right side, and securing into the dirt. We added 4 of these to the bed with spacing between them creating an arch over the bed. We added some side and top supports and fastened them together with Duct Tape.

Next, we added the plastic cloth. We were able to stretch it from side to side with enough plastic to cover the majority of the bed. To make sure that the plastic did not blow away, we cut pieces of lumber and placed them on the bottom edge of the plastic, and stapled them down to hold in place.

After the construction of the bed, we tried to figure out what seeds we could plant that might grow through the winter months. Due to the time of year, the choice of seeds was very limited. We did find some organic seeds at Home Depot.  We bought kale, early broccoli, lettuce, radish and a few others. When we returned home, I went out and planted them in the newly constructed garden bed. We placed mulch over the area to help with insulating the ground. I then watered it and let it go.

During the winter months, I would look at the bed to see if anything was sprouting. Every time I looked there was nothing. We stopped checking on it as often and figured that our attempt to have a winter garden had failed. Thinking we lost the seeds and that the garden bed was not going to produce anything, we uncovered and started preparing to plant a spring garden into the bed.

New Sprouts In Cold Bed 2During the spring we started planting quite a bit of different seeds into starter trays. We had started so many plants and the days are growing warmer, I decided that we should start planting the little starter pots into the ground. We laid out all the trays on the garden bed and started to examine the area that we planted last fall. To our surprise we noticed several small sprouts starting to emerge from the garden bed.

I was really shocked and  surprised to find that the seeds had taken, especially since I had given up on the whole idea.  It only goes to show you that you should never give up and nature has a way of surprising us. Several of the shoots turned out to be weeds, but there were lots of little clover looking pedals on the new sprouts. Now it seems we are in for another surprise to see what may have survived over the winter and which will grow into a bountiful harvest.

I guess, I need to find a different place to plant our starter plants. Since we only planted half of the garden bed with a winter garden, maybe we will plant the starters in the other side and see how they do. I will keep you posted in the upcoming weeks on the progress of our garden bed.

Cheryl Blatnik

Cheryl is energetic,motivated,hard working, determined and loves a good challenge. She enjoys gardening, loves animals, and learning new things. Her goal is to become more self sufficient and a better homesteader. She would like to get back to the basics with cooking, homemaking, and food preservation.

Cheryl additionally holds several degrees and enjoys her career within the medical community and working in Accounting. She is successfully raising a teenager of her own and 2 other teenage children. Her life long goal is to live in the country completely off-grid on a productive homestead away from goverment bureaucracy.

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