Friday, July 23, 2010

There's always room for one more veggie bed

In winter 2007 we dug up part of our driveway and installed new veggie beds, doubling the size of our edible garden at one stroke (or several thousand spade strokes, anyway).
Before … … during …
… and after.
Well, for a couple of years the new garden kept me busy, increasing my veg repertoire to include pumpkins, bush beans, sprouting broccoli, etc.

But for any keen veg gardener, too much space is never enough, so for the last few months I've been mooching around the garden looking for somewhere to squeeze in another bed. Susan rejected various schemes to site one in the middle of the lawn, outside the back door, etc.

An added motivation was my new-found enthusiasm for wicking beds. Having designed one on paper for the proposed Harvest Basket edible garden at SpringDale, I wanted one myself.

Finally I found a spot, outside the front door on the driveway. Yes, on the sad remnant of that once proud strip of reinforced concrete. But there's still space to park three cars on what's left.

The site isn't ideal, being west-facing, sloping and shaded from both the morning and the late afternoon sun, but I reckon there will be 5+ hours of sunlight for 9 months of the year, which ought to be enough for the salad and herb garden I have planned. I envisage it as our 'lunch garden': just outside the door, convenient to pick a few leaves to go in a sandwich, or a bunch of coriander to go on a curry.

I constructed the garden according to the plan on the downloads page, adapting the dimensions to 2m x 1.5m to fit the space and with an extra course of sleepers sawn at an angle to deal with the slope. The whole project is a (very) full weekend's work for one moderately fit and determined person. Here's the result:

Our new wicking bed
There seems to be a fair bit of interest in wicking beds amongst the Australian gardening community, so over the next few months I'll give progress reports on our trials, tribulations and (hopefully) triumphs with this method of growing veggies.

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