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Kalyn's Kitchen

Growboxes! (First Garden Update for 2008)

Brandywine TomatoComing Soon to Kalyn’s Back Yard

Yesterday the weather in Salt Lake was sunny and in the 70s. All winter I’ve been looking forward to this time of year, and I vowed I’d finally get growboxes put into my garden. Long before raised bed gardening became rather trendy, my parents had what we called growboxes, and I’d wanted them, but they never rose to the level of “must have” on the list of home maintenance projects. When I mentioned I was definitely planning to get them this year, my generous and handy brother Mark offered to build them for me.

I shared updates about my garden on the blog in 2006 and again 2007, and I’m looking forward to writing about (and eating!) wonderful fresh garden produce again this year. What’s new with the raised beds (and the compost enriched topsoil which will be delivered on Friday) is that I’ll be able to grow more things from seed. My garden soil is rich but rocky and I’ve never grown many root crops or greens, although I have planted herbs from seeds. Because my garden has sprinklers all on one setting, I’m actually moving my tomatoes to beds on the side of my lawn, where I had some last year. This will let me have more vegetables and a bigger variety than previous years. If you’re an experienced gardener with recommendations for veggies to grow from seeds, please share your thoughts with me in the comments.

Mark started with a row of four boxes (4 feet by ten feet) going the length of the garden. Here the last box on the west is laid out, but stakes aren’t in yet.

Mark had the fabulous idea of putting a row of long thin boxes across the front for herbs. Some of my herbs didn’t make it through the extra cold and long winter we had this year, but I do have oregano, sage, thyme, and tarragon to transplant.

The first herb box is staked and finished. The rather scruffy looking plants you can see in the bottom corner of the photo are two of my herb plants seriously needing to be trimmed.

Here’s the wonderfully generous Mark posting for a photo. I love and appreciate him so much, and I’m so grateful I’m lucky enough to have such a great family!

Here’s a view of the finished project, with 200 square feet of growing space in the six growboxes. That’s a lot of garden, but I love growing things and giving them away to everyone I know. As you can see, the rest of my yard is looking pretty shabby right now, so I have a lot of work to do getting things trimmed and weeded. Stay tuned in the weeks to come for more updates about my new-and-improved garden.
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    30 Comments on “Growboxes! (First Garden Update for 2008)”

  1. The wood is treated with something to make it last longer outdoors, but I'm sure it's safe. There is nothing under the box, just dirt.

  2. I noticed you said the boxes were made out of treated wood. Since this wood usually has chemicals in it is it safe? Also did you put anything on the bottom before putting in the dirt? I just dug my garden up myself and it is a job. couldn't get anyone to rototill it.

  3. Hey, thanks for hitting my Dutch Oven blog.

    Just this last week, we decided to make some “growboxes”. We got the book on “Square Foot Gardening” and got excited. In fact, on the way home from that DO event, I bought the vermiculite to mix into the soil.

    And, of course, being a cooker, I’m going to follow your postings on the homegrown herbs with fascination!

    MRKH

  4. I’d love to have grow boxes, but alas the condo people won’t let me. Not even sure if I can do a container garden 🙁

    Was looking into planting herbs in the front garden (which I do have some control over), but apparently the soil is too rich.

    j

  5. I really like the way the boxes are laid out, Kalyn. You’re on your way to happier gardening! And cheers to you for having such a dedicated brother.

  6. Yay for gardening posts. And yay for such an awesome brother! I’ve been thinking of making boxes for my garden too so I’ll be interested in seeing how yours turns out.

  7. Very nice Kalyn! I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more!

  8. Wow! You are so lucky Kalyn! I am desperately trying to grow veg on my small London balcony. It’s tricky!

  9. I’m really looking forward to reading updates about your garden through 2008. Never mind the picket fence, I harbor a not-so-secret desire to some day settle down long enough to have a backyard/patio/window box/anything garden. Until we settle down some place for longer than a year (which in no way could happen before summer 2009 :(, I’ll just keep dreaming and gaze longingly at your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Veggie gardens rock! Raised or contained beds are truly so effective when growing vegetables, even if this looks like a load of work 🙂