Major Changes to my Vegetable Garden

If you have followed my blog or youtube channel you know I mentioned I wanted to increase
the size of my garden this year.
I wasn't sure how I was going to go about it exactly, but eventually I was able to get it done.

There were some challenges in my garden space this year.
If you saw my post where I made my tomato cages I mentioned that the cats had found
my raised beds and chose to use them as a litter box and that was a big no for me so
that led to trying to figure out some solutions to keeping the critters out of my raised beds.
Before I get to all that, here is a look at my first raised bed garden.. (had always had the garden in the ground until then) the garden 2019.

So I started with 4 raised beds, and chose to use mulch as my ground cover.

Then added a pretty decorative fence around it with 2 openings.

I added some decorative pots to the main entrance as well as planted some zinnia seeds along the front.

It really was a beautiful space and I enjoyed it so much, but I wished I had more planting space.. so
that leads me to this year.

I knew I was going to add to my garden space but I needed a solution to keep critters out of my
raised beds.  So my first attempt was building chicken wire covers that would work on hinges.

They were definitely going to keep the cats out, they would protect my
strawberries from birds, and since I placed them on hinges they were easy to flip up
work in the beds and then just flip the cover back down.  
However, I realized I couldn't put very many tomato plants in one bed because when
the plants reach a certain size the flip over cover was going to be a hassle to mess
with.   I could lift it on/off but still.. a hassle, so I was going to need a different solution.

So I decided to change the fence as well.   It was purely decorative before and I wanted it to be
functional so I went ahead and figured out how much space I wanted for my new garden
area and got to work changing the fencing.

I chose to extend the fencing on both sides of the garden so I could add 4 more raised beds.
I used the existing fence and simply changed how I had it, and then purchased the additional
boards that I needed as well as woven wire to go around the entire thing.

I also changed out the previous soil to start over fresh.

And since this space was getting a major overhaul I also decided to get rid of the mulch
as my ground cover and go with 3/4" rock instead.
So this was a lot of shovel work.. a lot!

A lot of shovel work to remove the mulch, and more to come with the gravel.

Did I mention a lot of shovel work?

Shovel into the trailer..

Then shovel into the garden..

Many, many, many trips with shovels later.. and several sore muscles, it was finally good to go.
(very thankful my daughter/hubby helped with this part)

I have since removed the tall chicken wire covers, but I chose to keep the 2 short ones because I really like those.

I have also tackled building my own tomato cages.

I will be planting up the front of my new garden space this year as soon as the weather cooperates
with me but for now I am definitely happy with the progress that I have made.   
I am excited to have so much more planting space to utilize this year and looking forward
to all the homegrown foods that we will get out of this space. 

So far I have planted radishes, spinach, onions, strawberries, carrots, pole beans, bell peppers, jalapeno's, a few types of tomato's, and sweet corn.

Have you planted a garden this year?

 - Tina

If you'd like to see how I made my tomato cages - blog post is here.

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