Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A New Veggie Bed

This long, narrow space in our east side yard was, for many years, home to an arborvitae hedge. In decline the last three years, the ice storms of winter 2008-2009 weren't kind to the ex-hedge. All but three of them were removed last fall.

The neighbor's ivy, which had previously been allowed to roam freely here, was cut back and dug out. A barrier was sunk into the soil to keep it at bay. Regular maintenance will probably be needed to keep it out of the new bed. The clump of daffodils was removed to make more space for veggies. The arborvitae stumps are ugly and take up space, but rotator cuff and biceps tendinitis will keep me from removing them. Leaving them isn't optimal, but since neither the Lawn Man or I are in optimal condition to remove them and since my budget for this bed doesn't allow professional removal, the stumps will remain for now.

The little arborvitae in the foreground was layered from a low branch of it's now-defunct parent a couple of years ago. It's now growing on its own roots after being severed from the parent plant when it was removed last fall. The baby will be moved in the next couple of weeks.

The soil will be loosened and amended, and this new space will be used for growing a few more veggies, and giving a little more flexibility for rotating our 'crops,' a challenge with limited veggie-growing space. Although this space doesn't receive optimal sunlight for a veggie garden, successfully experimenting with a few tomatoes and peppers amidst the ivy last year makes me confident this space will provide more fresh, delicious, organic veggies for our table.

The original veggie bed in our west side yard is ready to go! In honor of St. Patrick's Day last week, the trellis was put in, along with seeds for peas, radishes, lettuce, beets, and bunching onions. After many years without a veggie garden, we're looking forward to our second year successfully growing veggies in part sun with our new veggie space.

Apologies to Balisha for losing your comment - Blogger did something weird shortly after I published the original version of this post. The post disappeared and I had to start from scratch.


  1. Very nice. An inspiring blank canvas!

  2. I know you'll enjoy picking your own veggies this summer. The arborvitae is a curse of a plant. I have about 8 dividing my neighbor's property from mine and I'd love to get rid of them but the stump removal is always an issue. Got a quote once for $1000 to remove them and then decided they'd have to stay for that price.

  3. I wish my veggie bed looked as neat and tidy. Mine always looks like "Veggies Gone Wild".

    Blogger must have burped:) When I tried to open your site, it told me you didn't exist. Five minutes later it was ok again.

  4. Don't you HATE it when you lose a post?! That happened to me once and made me very grumpy! Love your two beds. My veggie bed is, like yours, a bit short on optimal sunlight, but it still works. Ya gotta go with what you have. I think I'm going to be integrating veggies into my flower beds this year, too, because my veggie bed is not going to be big enough.

  5. Bare earth is beautiful - like a new exercise book at the beginning of term.


  6. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Linda, good luck with your new bed. I can't wait to see everyone's gardens this year; it's so satisfying to see people growing veggies, too. :)

  7. How exciting to have a new veg bed

  8. It looks a lot like mine on the blog, small and manaeable. I have layered a lot of things this year, so I hope they come up,


  9. Very inspiring, Linda. Keep us posted on your harvest! Good luck with the ivy ... I've been battling it for years!

  10. Very pretty, expectant gardens! We removed some overgrown yews (is there any other kind?) and opened up a lot of space. It was very freeing!

  11. Thank you Sheila! Looking forward to filling it with veggies!

    I'm looking forward to it Rachel! I didn't mind the arborvitaes, and I kind of miss the privacy, but I'm thrilled to have a little more veggie space!

    It'll be busting at the seams later in the season Marnie, but I do kind of like that neat, tidy, new bed look, and I don't miss the ivy.

    Blogger picked the wrong time to burp today. I'm glad it didn't take too long to re-do the post.

    Monica, I was even more annoyed that I lost a comment! I received an email that Balisha had commented, but when I went back to the blog, the entire post had disappeared. :|

    Beautiful, and so full of possibilities Lucy!

    Thank you Nancy! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with your new space this year too!

    I'm looking forward to planting it Helen! Now maybe I'll have enough space for all the tomato and pepper seedlings growing in the basement!

    Good luck with your little veggie bed Eileen!

    Thanks Joey! I'm looking forward to posting updates from two veggie gardens! Thanks for the good luck wish - I'll need it with that ivy.

    Thank you Diane. We've still got a few overgrown yews in front - I wouldn't mind if an ice storm did them in. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your new space!

  12. Both beds look great! I can't wait to see how they do. I also have stumps that I don't have the means to remove (although they're in a mixed perennial border), so I just try to hide them.

  13. Anonymous10:27 PM

    Both of the beds look good, L. You got me wishing I'd dug out my daylilies and daffodils and made some room for more veggies last fall.

  14. That's a nice looking vege bed garden girl! I hope those vege are going to like this home. Happy executing all your plans for your lovely garden!

  15. Thanks Rose! I'm looking forward to seeing how they do too.

    One of the stumps was already so rotted I was able to get it out yesterday. Arborvitae wood is normally pretty rot-resistant, but I suspect these arborvitaes had some kind of disease that was causing the heartwood to rot before they were damaged by the ice storms. Hopefully the stumps will rot more quickly and we'll be able to remove them more easily as a result.

    Thank you MBT. (It's not too late to move those daffodils and daylilies!) I moved a bunch of both, and they've settled in quickly thanks to the cool weather.

    Thank you Stephanie. I'm pretty confident the veggies will be happy in the new spot. The original bed gets the more intense afternoon sun, and the new bed, though it gets morning sun, gets more total hours of sun for most of the growing season.

  16. It looks great! I bet you can't wait to get it planted.

  17. Fantastic~I know you've wanted more veggie space for quite awhile. You can always put a pot on top of the stumps and then place a container filed will an herb that spills over the sides on them...I just bought chard and herbs for my containers this AM... gail ps Oh those indignities of aging!

  18. Thanks Dave! You're right. . . I couldn't wait - peas, scallions, lettuce, kale, and radishes have already been planted!

    Good morning Gail! Hey, that's a great idea - use the stumps for containers of herbs. I bet that would be pretty.

    Enjoy the beauty and deliciousness of your chard and herbs - I know you will!

    My tendons seem to be weaknesses - they flair up in my wrists, left elbow, knees, and feet. I did a number to my shoulder about 20 years ago, rocking fence posts out of the ground. Then, a couple of weeks ago I aggravated things lifting George (who packed on some extra poundage over the winter,) into the tub for a bath. Now George is on a diet, and I'm on restrictions. Both of us are pissed. . . ;)

    I hope your wrists are feeling much, much better - spring is calling! Have a wonderful weekend!


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