Garden Transformation

Garden Transformation

Transforming 40 square feet of weeds

Covid-19 was the perfect opportunity for a garden transformation. With a small, empty plot measuring about 40 square feet, my ideal garden would comprise containers and raised beds. The plot dimensions are 16 feet long and 32 inches wide narrowing to 20 inches wide. Fortunately, the plot has a southern exposure, and plenty of sunshine from mid-morning to early evening. The growing season starts in early May (above frost temperatures at night) and I am located in hardiness zone 6B.

Garden Transformation converting 40 square feet of weeds
Garden Transformation converting 40 square feet of weeds

Continuing the journey

My garden transformation is rooted in my journey of divorce, healing and self-discovery started in June 2018. Two years into my journey, and with Covid-19 quarantining us to our homes and backyards, which opens a lot of questions and uncertainty about our future, it was time to embark on a garden transformation.

Start small and learn from the process

My goal was to start small, experiment and learn from the process. I planned how to make optimal use of the small plot, chose the plants that I wanted to grow, and realized that the 5 containers I owned would be insufficient. I had to build a small, raised bed. A little research on YouTube, a trip to Home Depot, and a couple of weekends later I completed a raised bed measuring 4 feet long by 2 feet wide by 26 inches tall. The frame was built from pressure-treated lumber (1 x 4 inches), and the interior with galvanized, corrugated roofing sheet cut to size. I owned all the necessary the tools, so I was in business.

Garden Transformation materials to build raised bed box
Garden Transformation materials to build raised bed box

Garden Transformation tools to build raised bed box
Garden Transformation tools to build raised bed box

Garden Transformation work in progress raised bed box
Garden Transformation work in progress raised bed box

Garden Transformation finished raised bed box
Garden Transformation finished raised bed box

Garden Transformation frame detail of raised bed box
Garden Transformation frame detail of raised bed box

Maximizing the space and opportunity

Before setting up the containers and raised bed, I continued the garden transformation by weeding the entire plot, and raking the soil to level the plot. I filled the containers and raised bed with a mixture of organic garden soil and peat moss. Ready for planting!

Garden Transformation after weeding
Garden Transformation after weeding

Garden Transformation filling raised bed with organic soil and peat moss
Garden Transformation filling raised bed with organic soil and peat moss

I bought all live plants, either online (organic) or from local garden nurseries. In 2021, I will grow most of my plants from seeds, and will retain seeds later this year for planting next year. Here’s what I planted in May and June 2020:

Tomatoes:

  • New Big Dwarf Heirloom Tomato
  • Green Zebra Heirloom Tomato
  • Brandywine Heirloom Tomato

Salad:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce – Red Sails
  • Mini Romaine Lettuce – Bronze
  • Arugula

Herbs:

  • Sweet Italian Basil – Genovese
  • Scallions

Fruit:

  • Heirloom Black Diamond Watermelon

Garden Transformation sweet basil, red sails lettuce, bronze romaine lettuce
Garden Transformation sweet basil, red sails lettuce, bronze romaine lettuce

Garden Transformation sweet basil, arugula, scallions
Garden Transformation sweet basil, arugula, scallions

Garden Transformation heirloom tomatoes, black diamond water melon
Garden Transformation heirloom tomatoes, black diamond water melon

Call for comments

Please let me know if you plant your own garden. What do you grow? Container garden or in-ground garden? Comment below! Thank you.

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