The people in the wood department at Lowes have definitely come to recognize me, lol. A full five weeks after building my first 4x8' cedar raised bed in early April, I finally built a second (4x4'), and just a few days ago we finally filled them with soil and plants.
Then ... Early April :
I saw this project as a great opportunity to break out our power tools set and searched online for plans on how to build a raised bed. After filtering through tons of ideas, I found this one to be the most simple and fit my needs the best. I adapted the plan some by using 2x2" slats in each corner and finishing out the corners so there was not a gap. My beds are also only 12" tall instead of 18" because wood is expensive!!
Now ... Early May
While I have been doing the majority of the work on the garden, I am still trying to be very careful with my back and there are certain tasks that I am staying away from. The hubby has been delegated the tasks of digging holes for the fence posts and dumping & distributing the soil. Even if he doubts my ability to actually keep these plants alive, I think we make a good team!
Instead of just randomly placing things in the ground, I marked off square foot sections in the bed with string and have utilized this awesome garden planner site to both organize my raised beds and decide how to lay them out in the yard. Currently we have planted kale, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beets, carrots, squash, zucchini, cucumber, green onions, basil and spinach. We still need to plant our strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon plants and I thanks to my awesome neighbor we have seeds for corn, butternut squash, sweet peas and green beans to utilize.
I have wood for two more 4'x8' boxes cut, stained and ready to assemble and hope to finish them and get the remainder of my plants in the ground over the weekend. Then we have 6 more posts to go in the ground and a fence to assemble so that the deer don't come through and eat our precious plants. I am tired just thinking about that aspect of the project!
While the past few weeks have not been the most productive working and training-wise, I am okay with taking things a little slower right now and coasting rather than pushing. While I've been working hard in my physical therapy to get my body and back in correct working order, working on this garden has given me an outlet for the restlessness that can come with injury, has aided in my patience in allowing my body to fully heal and has been therapeutic in a number of ways mentally. Just as I am considering my PT an investment in my health and overall fitness for the latter parts of this season, I consider this garden to be an investment which we will hopefully reap rewards in the many months to come!
I hope you all are enjoying the warmer spring temperatures!
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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