Building Our New Garden – Phase I

Design Vegetable Garden
The overgrown shrub filled front yard before clearing it out. You can’t even see the house.

Last week we moved into our new house and immediately started on the vegetable garden. I didn’t want to live through a full gardening season without a home garden, so we decided to implement a quick and dirty phase one plan. As we get to know our new yard and the sun patterns this year we’ll likely change things around. One thing I’ve learned through years of gardening is that not much is permanent; most things can be changed. Here’s how we installed the garden over the last 2 weeks.

There were overgrown shrubs taking over the sunniest part of the lot. You couldn’t even see the house from the street. We cut most of them down and turned them into woodchips with my husband’s chipper. He’s been an arborist for over 10 years and this is the first time I got to learn how to use the chipper and be the ground gal.


Install Vegetable Garden
Me feeding the chipper.

Front Yard Vegetable Garden
Same shot at the first one above. You can see the house now that all the shrubs are gone!

I had a bunch of random raised beds left over from selling them last year through my business. Once we sorted out the sizes and put them together we laid them out into a design. My goal was to design the garden on paper first, but we didn’t have time. So this first phase is design on the fly.


Vegetable Garden Design
Laying out the design.

I had a vision of a mounded berm planted with perennials between the vegetable garden and the street. We used a tape measure and stakes to decide on the location and size of the berm. Then I laid cardboard down in the shape of the berm in preparation for our soil delivery.



Cardboard will kill the grass underneath the berm.

Ordering a huge mound of soil isn’t the least inexpensive way to create a garden, but it sure makes it quick. I use a mixture of ½ Purple Cow compost and ½ topsoil from a local company. My soil guy, Terry, dumped part of the load on the berm footprint and part of the load in another pile for easy access to fill the raised beds.


Design Front Yard Raised Beds

The mound of soil is delivered!

Read the next installment of this series here.


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