raised garden beds with organic material being added
Raised garden beds need organic material added to the soil every few years.

I got off to an early start on the garden this year, trimming my perennial herbs much earlier than I usually do.  Then a combination of me being sick and lots of rainy days in Utah conspired to put the garden on hold until this week.  Raised garden beds are wonderful because they don’t require lots of maintenance, but your raised beds will produce healthier plants if you enrich the soil with organic material at least every few years.  You can buy bags of organic compost at a garden store, but many cities that collect yard waste also grind it up and create compost that’s sold by the truckload.  I don’t have a truck, but I am lucky enough to have a great family, and this year my brother-in-law Clayton offered to bring me a load of compost and till it into the soil for me.  (Thanks Clayton!)

I had pulled weeds out a few times in the weeks before we did this, but there were still a few lingering weeds we had to dig out before we spread the compost over the beds.  (I love my drip sprinklers which you just flip back when you want to work on the soil.)

Once the weeds were pulled, we spread a thick layer of compost over each bed.

I also sprinkled a little organic fertilizer over each bed, although it’s probably not essential.

Then Clayton did his magic with the tiller and tilled the compost into the soil in each bed.

When it’s done you need to rake the surface of the soil so it’s smooth!

And then in my beds I just flip the sprinkler tubes back into the bed, anchor them down with little metal hooks, and I’m ready for seeds and plants.  Personally I think the day you get your garden tilled is one of the best days of the year!  After we got the beds ready, I spent the rest of that day planting seeds and plants; more photos coming soon!

I’m also happy to report that herbs are in full production mode in my garden.  I have parsley, mint, flat parsley, marjoram, 3 types of thyme, dill, rosemary, tarragon, Greek oregano, chives, and basil all growing and a few seeds in the ground (for more dill and basil.)  
You can see all my Garden Updates since 2006 or the 2012 Garden Updates if you’d like to see more about my garden.   Do you have a garden at your house?  Let us know in the comments how your 2012 garden is coming along.

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