It’s April again and time to re-prep the vegetable garden for another spring planting. After last year’s dirt beds had been sitting all winter under a couple of feet of snow they had once again been flattened out and in need of being completely restructured into neatly squared off new rows ready for use. In a garden plot that is fifty by a hundred feet it’s a lot of back breaking work year after year for one old man to move so much dirt and frankly it’s a job I don’t look forward to. That’s why this year we made the decision to bite the bullet and purchase a trailer load of two inch cedar planking and put the entire plot into raised beds once and for all. The initial work seemed like it would be an overwhelming job but I knew the pay off would be that I wouldn’t have to repeat the ordeal every new planting season. By raising the beds and confining them between two rows of cedar planks we wouldn’t just be saving a lot of work, but would also preserve the fertile soil we had worked so hard to build into the beds over the past years. I also knew that the beds would be far easier to maintain throughout the growing season. Water would stay around the plants where it belonged and the rich compost which had been dug into each row would stay around the plants rather than being washed into the lower ground.
I’d been anticipating how I would do the project and how much work it would take throughout the winter months until finally on a cold March day, along with the unexpected help of some game younger friends, I went to work. I was surprised that after so much anticipation it actually only took a few hard days of work before the whole thing was ready to plant. Planks that bordered the beds had been set and filled with composted soil, the irrigation drip lines had been laid into place and the early crops of onions, potatoes and peas are now ready to be planted.