Five years ago, I was a first-time mama with a four month old and needed to get out of the house and meet some other people with babies. I attended a meeting for a local natural parenting group that served as my introduction to organic gardening (among a bunch of other things!). I came home from the meeting and told my husband that we needed to read the book “Square Foot Gardening.”
I have to admit that I never really read the book and that gardening isn’t a passion of mine. Luckily, Brian decided to actually read the book and it inspired a passion for him. We started with a 4×4 raised garden bed and quickly expanded to several larger beds.
Our garden at our first house was beautiful. We grew some pretty amazing things. When you’ve never grown food, or anything for that matter, seeing a huge head of cabbage or a stalk of brussels sprouts or zucchini coming out of your own ground is really fun.
When we downsized our house in 2015, we knew that we still wanted a garden, even if we had a smaller yard. Our small garden was really lovely and the kids loved helping tend the plants and harvest the vegetables. I think we all enjoyed this garden so much more because it was easier to manage and more accessible so it could be a family affair.
Now that we’ve moved again, we are ready to build yet another garden- hopefully this one lasts a while! While we loved the ease of our small garden, we missed having variety. So for this garden, we’re aiming for a happy medium between overwhelming and too small with a couple of raised garden beds with room for expansion down the road.
Planning for a garden at our new house involves some new challenges. We live on 6.5 acres in the Texas Hill Country and that means we have a ton of deer.
Funny story about our introduction to deer…back six years ago when we moved into our very first house when we knew nothing about owning a home, gardening or deer or anything really! The first weekend after we moved in, Brian was so excited to plant some plants in the front yard. We spent the day at Lowe’s picking out plants, planting them and admiring our beautiful work.
We went to bed only to wake up to find all of our plants completely uprooted out of the holes we dug and strewn around the front yard. What kind of vandals would do this?! This was supposed to be a nice neighborhood! Then a friendly neighbor enlightened us. Oh, deer.
Deer will eat basically anything and everything, even supposedly deer-resistant plants, so a vegetable garden would be a treat from Heaven! Our property is fenced with a low, wire fence but deer can get easily jump over even a six-foot fence. Our new garden will have to be completely fenced with a tall enough fence to prevent deer from ransacking our veggies.
We broke ground on the new garden a few weeks ago and are planning to have it completed and ready for spring planting next month. It will be a family affair to get it all done.
We are starting completely from scratch here so building the garden will have a few steps:
- Clear the area where the garden will be located
- Dig 18-inch holes to insert the fence posts (no small feat when we live on a slab of limestone)
- Build the garden perimeter with 4×4 posts and cattle panel fencing
- Lay cardboard down to suppress weeds and fill area with mulch
- Build the garden beds with cedar posts collected from around our property
- Run drip irrigation to garden beds
- Fill garden beds with garden soil (topsoil, compost, green sand) and organic amendments
- Plant our garden!