I’d toyed with the idea of starting a Vegetable patch two years ago and it went no where. This year would be different. I would actually do it! I would actually try and finish off the garden I started to build 4 years ago. There had been a section at the far end that catches the sun that was left un done. Instead of completing it I would start something else. This year I would finish the space.
Vegetable Patch by Beginners
Generally I do OK with plants in our garden. I seem to plant them and leave them and they grow. Probably how nature intended them to be. The only times I have issues are when local animals come and sprinkle additions to them which kills them off. So, I thought I’d make a raised planter for the vegetables to grow in which will hopefully keep cats and other animals away.
Raised Planter Under the Sea inspired!
Our Back Garden was inspired by the Little Mermaid. If you took a tour of it you’d understand the theming. So to add a Vegetable planter that was un themed would be wrong. So I decided to try and create one that looked like a shipwreck. Although there isn;t enough space for an actual ship shape a nod towards it was as close as I hoped.
To start with I chose Scaffold planks to create the sides. Most people would use there horizontal to create the planters. I on the other hand thought vertical would be better. So instead of 4 longs strips I had over 20 in total.
Each Plank was cut to a staggered length. Then jigsawed into a free style ‘break’, before being planed and sanded smooth.
A couple of coats of Cuprinol coloured paint would hopefully protect it and add some neutral colour. The colour being inspired from salted sand beaten wooden ships!
It only took a couple of hours for Imogen and myself to piece it all together. Each piece was different and some needed adjusting to fit together perfectly. If perfectly means jagged gaps and uneven sides.
Imogen really got involved and help loads over the installation. Firstly and she wanted to help, but she also wanted to earn some money for her Bank of Dad book.
We lined the planter with Black polythene sheet to try and prevent soil spilling out of any gaps. It would also help prevent damp soil just sitting on the wood. Which would hopefully help the planter last longer. At the very least we wouldn’t have water spilling out of the cracks.
We used a normal stapler to hold the polythene in place. As long as the material was held until the soil filled it up was all we needed.
Inspiring Children in Gardening
Some Soil, Seeds and a couple of plants finished it off nicely. Hopefully we’ll have a nice harvest this summer (if that is when you harvest).
We planted Rhubarb (in a separate pot), Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas, Runner Beans, Albert Bartlett Potatoes and Strawberries. Hopefully some of them will grow. These items were chosen mainly by Abigail and Imogen and I let them get involved fully to try and engage them in the project. I feel it is important for children to experience growing their own food. It’s too easy to assume food comes from shops.
Which reminds me of when I mades some bread. I went to a relatives house and told them we made bread at the weekend. Their reply was “do you have a bread maker?”. My answer was “No”, I just baked it in the oven after mixing the ingredients in the kitchen. Convenience is nice, but not always essential.
It would be cheaper and more convenient to buy the veg ready to eat from a shop. Though we wouldn’t have the experience or disappointment of trying to grow them ourselves.
Cats and Vegetable Patches!
Within two weeks of planting out we had cat poo and dug up plants. The strawberry plants were shredded and the onions kicked to the floor. So as a first attempt to stop them I stuck sticks into the soil. This seemed to work for a few days, but then I spotted more poo and a dug up trough in between the sticks.
Stage two of my Cat prevention has involved netting. We’ve covered the entire planter with a green mesh net to deter the cats from climbing onto the nice fresh springy soil. The net was attached either side with nails to hook onto. Which seems to be working well. Except I have seen something is digging troughs and possibly stealing the onions from the Vegetable Patch. I’m hoping it is our friendly Hedgehog back to live in the garden, but we’ll need to wait and find out.
No doubt we’ll keep you updated with our Vegetable Patch’s progress.