As the rain starts to think about slacking off, it’s time to to spend the first few precious sunny days (and evenings) in the garden. Some plants (peas, arugula, lettuces, kale, etc.) are already in the ground, but the majority of summer annuals need warmer weather to get started. This means that April is a great time to get the structures in your garden into shape in preparation for what comes next.
So, what does a garden space look like in April when it’s in good shape?
First, it’s clean: debris from previous seasons has been removed, weeds are being managed appropriately, access paths are well-defined, garden structures are in place, and bare soil is covered.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, it fits you: your personal plant wish list, your schedule, and your body. You are your garden’s most important ally, tasked with creating the conditions under which your chosen edibles will thrive, so you need to be able to access your garden space (and your plants) easily. And this is where building comes in.
Below are some examples of easy-access gardens that we’ve built:
In these pictures, building is done and spring cleaning finished; however, they were taken after their protective winter blankets were removed–you’ll still want to cover bare soil with mulch to keep weeds at bay and protect against any hard rains that may yet come along.
Also, all of these examples involve raised beds, which we do recommend in specific circumstances…but not everyone needs raised beds to garden effectively. The most important thing about these built examples is that they fit the lives of the people that care for them.
Remember: if your space meets the needs of your plants and you can tend it regularly with ease, you’ll be way ahead when it’s time to put in the bulk of your main-season garden. And that time is nearly upon us…