Raised Beds–Planted!

I was surprised when we made a trip to the hardware store this weekend, that my husband came out of the store with plants to put in my yard garden (raised beds)!

But what about the frost? You may be wondering. Because here in East Tennessee, we still have a few weeks where it could possibly frost and kill little growing plants.

We ended up planting all my raised beds this weekend. My husband expertly selected plants that were still considered cold crop, but that would also grow during the summer. (This was all that was available at the hardware store 😉)

All winter long, he has put our ashes from our wood stove on the garden. This is like potash fertilizer. He’s also used chicken manure for natural fertilizer, high in nitrogen. This has been sitting for several months on our soil. See my post about this method of fertilization.

The beds have remained untouched all winter, until this Sunday, when my husband dug his shovel into the soil. He was extremely excited in his first shovel-full to see little red worms.

He said this was a great sign that the dirt was in excellent shape. He continued to turn the soil and worms were everywhere. We were quite happy that the soil was still in great condition for another year of planting. With the wintertime fertilizers, I hope to see some great yield from my yard!

In our first raised bed, he planted romaine lettuce and spinach. I was happy to find my lemon balm still growing in my first garden. This will be our little salad garden.

The second bed is already full of three-year old asparagus. I am really excited to see how much it will yield this year, since it does take a few years to get the asparagus crop growing. We also have strawberries at the edge of this raised bed that come back every year. Not much, but just enough for a handful of sweet berries every few days.

Our third raised bed he planted with collard greens, and another variety we have never tried: heirloom cabbage collards, and Swiss chard. We love fixing greens all year long. When they’re not growing fresh, we freeze them to have on hand for the winter.

As a matter of fact, I still had some wintertime kale still growing in my third raised bed. My husband ended up pulling the kale up, since it was on it’s third year, and I needed room for something different: collards. So today I actually prepared some of the final kale and put it in the freezer. It’ll come in handy in soups and smoothies.

Spending the day in the sun (with a bit of a chilly wind) filled us all with the hope of springtime. I’m loving to look out my window and see my yard gardens already planted.

What’s next? The herb garden next to my house will need to be tilled up. Perhaps my most favorite shopping trip of the year is picking out my herbs. I can’t wait to start on that. Springtime will be here soon!

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