• Amy Slater

Growing A Garden: Highlights from our first year in the new house

Updated: May 27


Gardening holds a special place in my heart. When we moved into our new house my two first priorities were, moving my plants and setting up my pantry. In fact, we are ninety days in our new house and my garden is moving along well, but there are still many pictures sitting in the dining room waiting to be hung.


Can you tell my priorities surround my family’s access to high-quality food?


When we moved, aside from leaving our neighbors, I was very sad to leave my thriving garden. I had so many great memories of the kids growing up in the garden and many great meals made from what we grew up!!

Building our new garden was a quick process!


As I shared in my post, The Power of Herbs the garden can offer so many benefits! Our first goal was to get some raised beds in the ground. Our soil here in North Carolina is 100% clay. Raised beds are pretty much the only option without a lot of amending. Raised beds are an excellent way to create an instant garden anywhere on your property… your deck, driveway, or on the side of your house. You can use any type of material like stainless metal tubs (which is what we chose), recycled vintage materials, and even garden soil bags!!







Next, I had to transfer all of my potted plants to the beds.







There are many benefits to growing a raised bed garden.


  • Gardens in limited spaces

  • Keep spreading plants, like mint in check

  • Increase your yield

  • Rotate your crops

  • Extend the growing season


ACCESSIBILITY:


Raised beds make gardening more accessible to those who have trouble kneeling down or bending over! You don’t need a traditional patch of soil–raised beds can be positioned anywhere! The recommended minimum height is 10 inches.


SOIL QUALITY:


You can control the quality of the soil by choosing what to add to the garden. By reaching to tend to the plants in a raised bed instead of walking on the soil, you avoid compacting the soil and disturbing the beneficial activity (worms and microorganisms) that occur beneath the surface.


SOIL TEMPERATURE:


You can plant earlier in the spring because the soil warms up sooner than in a traditional garden and you can plant the cool weather-loving crops earlier like peas and broccoli.


PEST CONTROL:


You can increase the height of the bed so that bunnies and groundhogs are not able to nibble. You can easily use row covers and nets to prevent certain bad insects and birds from damaging your crops.


Have I convinced you of the benefits of a garden?


My post about The Garden Bounty highlights why I love our family garden. There are so many benefits of gut health to brain health. I will give you a sneak peek into our plans for the rest of the garden. This was a couple of weeks ago.

Since then…


My husband took a weed whacker to the weeds and Cameron had a blast raking them up. Then Whole Foods donated 1800 paper bags to cover the weeds and act as a natural weed barrier. Of course, we did not want to use any type of weed spray as it goes down into the soil! The goal is for the bags to choke out the weeds as well as act as a natural mulch and actually add to the soil!!

We filled the rest with pine straw.

The next major project is to install the grapevine posts so they will be ready to plant in the spring.


After that, we will fill in more garden boxes and some small raised beds for herbs only along the edges! It is so exciting to see the joy of the garden through the kids’ eyes!!







Now let’s get out there and grow a garden!!