My 2008 Garden Story (lots of pics)

greenbean08_gw(PNW)November 24, 2008

Here are some pictures of my garden this year...

I decided in May to build my garden. This year I had two 4' x 10' beds. I built them from redwood that was once somebody's deck.

May 19, 2008

From 2008 Garden

How do you like them spiffy stick trellises there?? (hey, it was free...)

And my little potato bin... From 2008 Garden

This bed has corn, watermelon, zucchini, one tomato, red onions, and cucumber. There were more onions in the package than I had planned for, so I squeezed them in. They were overrun by the zucchini, tomato & cuke. They're getting their own, unshaded spot next year.

July 7, 2008 From 2008 Garden

This bed has radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, walla walla onions, yellow beans, peppers, sugar snap peas, and that big patch of plants right there is (wait for it) GREEN BEANS (ok, they're one of my favorites). From 2008 Garden

Here they are with their hail protection covers. I used old sheer curtains and irrigation tubing (ok, these I had to buy, but the sheers came from goodwill...) I also discovered the county's free mulch pile. I did pay $4 per load for the loader to scoop it into the trailer... Next year I plan to arrange somewhat by height, so the covers can be either short or tall, not both in the same area... From 2008 Garden

And the potatoes were coming along nicely. I also built a compost bin. It only has 2 compartments because I was trying to keep everything hidden from the street by the retaining wall... From 2008 Garden

And again Aug 12, 2008 From 2008 Garden

As you can see, it got a little overcrowded...Hope I do a better job planning next time...

Notice the pile of straw by the potato bin... It was getting watered by the sprinkler system overspray from the lawn above. DH didn't realize it, and while I was out of town, he watered them again. When they started turning yellow, he watered them some more... I was trying to dry them out, but it was too late. I did manage to pluck a couple potatoes out, but not much. From 2008 Garden

I started tracking yields in August. Before I kept track, the bulk of my green beans and sugar snap peas came in (I'd guess a few pounds, it's when I was gone & DH was picking). Lettuce, spinach, and radishes weren't measured either.

In August, Sept & Oct, I harvested (approximately):

6.5# yellow and green beans (mostly yellow)

30 cucumbers 6-8" about 13# (

20 zuchinni 6-8" about 11#, and about 4# baby ones before the freeze

2 dozen ears of corn (varying quality though - need to work on those a little...)

3# carrots (not very sweet though)

20 tomatoes, not so great ones though.

6# onions

about a dozen (3 1/2# I think) peppers (immature)

and one unripe watermelon, plus a tiny almost ripe one...

I liked it all so much, I'm adding more:

I'm no longer hidden by the retaining wall, so I put up a little fence to screen it...

Nov 23, 2008

From 2008 Garden

There are boxes along the "alley" fence (above photo) that will be going in, but I have to move some lilac bushes first. I figured I'd fill them with OM and get a head start on next year, even if I do have to move it all. I also have some steps now between the compost bin and the house, so I don't have to jump off the wall (or walk around) anymore. From 2008 Garden

These are my 2 original beds (below). The kiddie pool is the temporary spot for my strawberries, until their bed is in place. I got them a little earlier than planned because someone was cleaning out their runners and giving them away. There will be 3 smaller beds along this fence line, two 4x4 and one 4x5. Oh, and I have a front for my compost bin now. It was a metal dog kennel that someone was tossing.

I also have some shredded leaves for next year's mulch... From 2008 Garden

To the right of the originals, there are two more 4x5 beds. Along the far right fence is another, about 2.5 x 11. Toward the end of the long skinny bed, you can see a metal ring, I'm going to use a few of those for some rhubarb, and I think, to plant my zucchini next year. It might be easier if it's not in one of the beds I'm thinking. I don't have those set or filled yet. From 2008 Garden

And here inside the stone bed (it's right behind the "new" picket fence) is where the raspberry patch is going. From 2008 Garden

And another view: From 2008 Garden

So there it is. I had some things work well for me this year, some didn't, but overall, I was happy! I have high hopes for next year...

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW greenbean! It all looks wonderful!! I'm jealous of that sunlight and the yield you got last year! It's wonderful.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_in_paradise(6U 5A Cn Jun9Sep29)

I love looking at pictures of others gardens....Thanks for posting them!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Thanks for sharing those pics greenbean. I can't wait to see what all you grow next year.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your garden is SO beautiful. AND I'm really excited about your yield numbers. They're so helpful for me.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm another one that loves to look at other poeple's garden. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Amazing use of space. Assuming your back yard has a southern exposure you can't go wrong with that setup. And in the winter, that wall should help retain heat to create a microclimate. That and your house should help too. Might consider fall/winter gardening. Well, maybe next year at this point. But all-in-all beautiful design. And from the looks of it, you're a poster garden for gardening cheaply and green. Very inspiring.

Oh, and I love the potato bin. Next time you're starving them, cover the bin with one of your curtains. Sprinkler won't harm them then!
Thanks for sharing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)


As for the size of the tubing being different on each bed, it kind of makes them look like covered wagons. Pretty neat in my book! You might play with that idea some and make it work for ya.... At least that's what I'd do!

Thanks also for sharing your yields. That's the one thing I'm the most curious about with everyone's gardens!

As for the corn, you're certainly not the only one who needs to work on that one. It can be a tough one to swing for most people from what I hear.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the nice comments all.

carolynp, if it would help you, I can include how much of what I planted. Next year, I'm going to keep track of yields a little better. I didn't start tracking until after I came back from my trip. I have a really old scale that seems to weigh accurately enough (I checked it against my digital postal scale, and it was pretty close). I keep the scale in my kitchen window, and keep a calendar in the "bowl" so I can track it as I pick it.

sinfonian, you were one of my inspirations for the potato bin. Next year, the potatoes won't be against the retaining wall. I don't know where they'll be yet, but away from the sprinkler for certain. Water does seem to go through the curtain ok, so I don't know how much that would help. I need to get some more fence boards, I want to build another one.

My garden is on the south side of my house. It gets great sun over there, and the dogs can't get to it. It does get a little shaded during the summer, but mostly where the raspberries will be. I do hope to garden longer next year by starting some indoors and using plastic over the hoops. We do get a lot of sunshine here (they say 300 days a year), so I should be able to get a jump start in the spring. Because we're at 7000 feet, we do have cold nights, and quite a bit of wind. I'm hoping I do a better planning job, so it will be easier to cover next time. I had to let it go this year because I needed to add more to the beds b/c they were about 8" down.

You may be right, I could be the poster child for a cheap garden. All the lumber out there is used and was free. The beds are filled with free manure, leaves, hay, straw, UCG, etc. I have scrounged gobs of leaves this fall. Even the kiddie pool and all that chicken wire keeping the leaves from blowing away, were free. I bought the fence and the posts used, and re-painted. That one was kind of a pain, but I'm not working right now, and I couldn't justify spending $100 for 12 feet of new fence. I did it for about $50 total I think. Even the trash cans out there were from freecycle. The plastic I'll use again come spring I bought from someone on Craigslist for about 1/2 price. A good portion of it was used to wrap items and cover the load of stuff I brought back on my trip this summer, and was still good enough to use again. I did buy the yellow garden cart out there, new. I love that thing, I use it a ton. I'm quite proud of how little I spent building my garden. Come to think of it, I think that's what I started posting in this forum about...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

I've posted on the optimal way folks can start gardening for cheap or free. You're living proof it works. Of course, you could have skipped the boards and gone with soil augmentation, but you did awesome going the extra mile for raised beds. I bet you did that because you had poor soil. Downright amazing.

And since you're composting now, you can use it to amend the soil when you replant. Perfect. Bravo!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey, Greenbean, followed you here from RMG. Nice pics.

Hint for the corn: ir really is true that the closer the plants, the better the pollnation. I keep mine 1 foot apart, which fits perfectly in the SFG, and try to plant sunflowers to the wind side of the corn. The sunflowers help to block the wind and keep the pollen from blowing to the next county.

The most important part though is to keep the corn in blocks because the pollen needs to drop down to the silks, if you space the corn too far apart, you will have ears with few kernels. Because of this, if you feel you have to inner plant, do the three sisters: corn, pumpkin and beans but keep the corn close together.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 1:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, they do look a little like covered wagons... When I was in elementary school, I built a little covered wagon for class once. Pretty similar. I don't think Tinkertoy wheels would do much for these though...

You're right about the soil. I've dug up gardens in west Texas and in Montana, but I didn't even put a shovel into the soil here before I decided to go up... It didn't look appealing at all to try and dig. I'd probably still be trying. Heck, just to dig the 3 postholes for the picket fence took about forever. I had to use some water and a 6' metal digging bar to do it (it's called a San Angelo bar, which cracks me up b/c that's where I lived in TX many moons ago.. could have used one there for sure...)

Billie- Thanks for travelling... I'm hoping to plant a variety of corn that spaces 6" apart, hoping that will help the pollination problem. I think you're right about the pollen blowing away. While the garden may be a little more sheltered from the wind, sometimes it's more of a wind tunnel it seems. When my corn was small, the wind flattened it several times. It seemed strange to me that it was flattened from the north, so it was like the wind came from the house!! To keep my peppers from being flattened as well, I took a scrap piece of the sheer fabric and attached it to a few sticks around the plants, like a little curtain corral. It helped them a lot. My corn plants got tougher, and grew some real roots. Once they were closer to 3' tall, they didn't blow over any more. I may have to try the sunflower trick.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 1:43AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for bloggers
I am looking for folk interested in writing about square...
Cinder block raised bed & drainage
Hi, I am new to this forum and gardening so please...
Alex Rumjancevs
Safe insecticide: Olive Oil, Dish Soap, Water
I'm going to try a safe insecticide first before going...
Filling my raised bed
Ok, I'm new to gardening but am planning on constructing...
Matt Cauwels
What to put in the bottom of 12" high boxes??
Hello all, I am doing my first SFG this year. I live...
Deck Pros
Sponsored Products
Kenroy Home Ceiling Mounted Lighting 5-Piece Black Solar LED Deck Lights 60502
$67.98 | Home Depot
Birds of a Feather Garden Chime
$10.99 | zulily
Carson 44 in. Signature Series Lords Prayer Wind Chime - 60237
$79.99 | Hayneedle
Art Virtuoso Garden Follies Framed Art Print-P9662B-05733
Beyond Stores
Kichler Bronze Side Mount Eclipse Low Voltage Path Light
Lamps Plus
Tibetan Cloud Ceramic Drum Stool
Cost Plus World Market
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™