Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

I've been back in my home town of Perth, Western Australia for less than three weeks and my usual 'dizzy spin' after traveling struck me again.

To get me 'grounded' and feeling focused, I decided to set up my own raised bed vegetable garden to grow my own organic vegetables.

I also set up two pots just for herbs... and getting a little carried away with my intention I also set up additional pots for tomatoes, peas, beans and eggplant!

There is something very therapeutic and even spiritual about spending that time in nature, focused on Mother Earth and handling so much 'greenery' and soil. It's very grounding, literally.

I was also lost in my world of metaphors while enjoying my time in the sunshine building the raised bed vegetable garden (which took me almost 6 hours!)... it reminded me of the power of FOCUS and COMPLETION.... and along with that the satisfaction of achievement and empowering the soul of what is possible. 

I'm not naturally a 'green thumb'. And I had very little previous experience to know what to do. 

So I spent the better part of almost three days planning my goal, and setting out to task it - step-by-step. I also sought out advice from the garden staff at my local Bunning's (who were very helpful! Thank You!)

I'm a 'late bloomer' when it comes to exercising my 'green thumb' which my mother is delighted and proud of. She's got the 'green gene' in the family, but has it temporarily suppressed as both her and my father are on the road traveling Australia in their caravan on a great Aussie Adventure! 

(Which, as a side note - they have their current Jayco Heritage 2004 caravan for sale because they have ordered a new (smaller and lighter) one to suit their next phase of their "Leyland Brothers" style adventure!)

The first day I spent the better part of my afternoon putting together the raised bed for the vegetable garden. It was a challenge doing it on my own. I found myself being flexible, using my feet to hold the bolts so I could stretch, bend (and contort!) myself over the sharp tin (it wasn't yet finished with the plastic seal) to screw the panels together.

Each segment was a milestone, which I celebrated with a smile.... and a cup of coffee every few hours!

Once the panels were up and joined together, I started filling it with the bags of soil. The guy at the garden centre told me it would be the right amount to fill the garden bed. As I looked at the 8 (x 30L) bags of soil laying on the ground I thought "there is NO WAY that those eight bags will be enough!"

Sure enough, they barely filled the bottom.

Four treks back to Bunnings and a total of 340L of soil, I had my raised bed vegetable garden patch ready to plant the seedlings. 

(Learner's note: It would have been much more cost effective to have had a few trailer loads of soil delivered!)

The next two days was dedicated to planting the vegetables and the herbs (in pots). By the time I was done, I needed a Radox bath to sooth my aching back and legs from bending and squatting.

As I sank deep into the hot water and the bubbles tickling my nose, I sighed with an even deeper satisfaction of what I created this 'long weekend' and happy to be settled in at home ...for a while!

If you have any advise or suggestions for maintaining the vegetable garden at it's optimum and growing the biggest and best organic vegetables and herbs possible, I'd LOVE to read your comments below. :)