Victory Garden, Week 1: Materials & Strategy

We’re midway through our first week with our 2020 Victory Garden. This post will explain what we’ve done so far and what we have planned in the weeks ahead.

Preparing the garden

Materials used

I’ve linked to the exact products I used below.

Our Victory Garden Strategy

I’m starting “small” for right now, but will be adding more beds in the coming weeks. I began by tilling an area about 10’x20′.

Raised garden beds, Victory Garden
My son built these raised beds for the garden. The 4x4s in the corners aren’t absolutely necessary, but I think they’ll help lend greater stability to the beds for many years, especially since our area is prone to hurricanes in late summer and I’d rather these not come apart in adverse conditions.

My son graciously built three raised beds for me, each 4’x8’x10″. We filled them with an equal mixture of peat moss and garden soil and mixed that in with the tilled soil beneath. The garden soil has fertilizer in it, but I will use compost as needed once I have that ready.

Raised beds marked off for square-foot gardening
Each bed is 4’x8′, so there are 32 squares in each bed, marked off by jute twine and my staple gun. I’m hoping to write a post later this week about what was planted in each square so I can follow up on how well the plant spacing worked as the spring and summer progresses.

We are mostly starting our this year’s Victory Garden with direct planting in the beds, however I did have five collard plants that my mom had started from seed, so those are off to a great start.

Once we had everything in the beds, I covered them with a layer of wildlife netting and my mom and I constructed a short term garden fence with the rolled plastic fencing product linked above. Sometime in the near future (after the COVID-19 lockdowns are behind us) we’re hoping to have a regular fence put up.

Collard plants in square foot garden
You can see a couple of tiny beets that I had started from seed in the lower left-hand corner of this photo, and the five healthy, young collard plants that my mom contributed to this garden in the top right.

Additionally, a few weeks ago I started some crops in a container garden on the deck: potatoes, onions, bush beans, and garden peas. Those are doing very well. I’ll post pictures later.

We’ve also started some sweet potato vines, but those won’t be ready to plant for a while yet.

Still to come

I’m looking forward to receiving my seeds and plants from Gurney’s so I can get those into the ground. We will need to construct at least one more raised bed, and some will get directly sown into the ground, specifically our blueberry bush, and likely our sweet potatoes once the slips are ready.

I also need to put together a composting bin. I had mentioned in this article that I might try building a chicken wire composting bin, but I’ve learned that I can pick up some wood pallets this week and that won’t involve me violating the social distancing guidelines, so I may go back to that old tried-and-true method.

Stay tuned for more updates as this garden begins to grow. ????????????????????????

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