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This raised bed garden by David LaBrie and his wife give them fresh vegetables throughout the summer and fall, and the raised beds are easy to maintain. We’re especially impressed by the way he grew his tomatoes up a string successfully. Take a look …
David LaBrie’s Garden Story
My wife and I moved to this location two years ago. At our previous residence of 35 years, we had well established, in-ground gardens. I didn’t want to go through all of the time and trouble of starting a new in-ground garden from scratch, and being older and retired, I didn’t relish the idea of dealing with plants at ground level. The new home has a very large 200-year old barn that is filled with everything you could imagine. I was able to build my new raised bed gardens from items that I scrounged from the barn. The raised beds are great as they are 18 inches tall and easy to maintain. I compost leaves, grass clippings and chicken manure to ameliorate the soil. I also have a couple of worm farms that provide fertilizer for my plants.
The gardens gives my wife and I fresh vegetables throughout the summer and fall. I also preserve vegetables through canning, freezing and dehydration; we eat these items through the winter. I also heavily mulch my carrots and have access to fresh carrots through the winter as well. Cuttings and anything that we can’t use goes to the ladies in the chicken coop.
The Garden Planner has been a great tool to design gardens. For my 2022 garden, I use it to take advantage of companion planting as well as crop rotation. I have been using the Square-Foot Garden tool as well; it helps to make the best use of the limited space. I tried my hand at growing tomatoes on a single stem, along a string this year and had great results. Growing tomatoes this way forces you to pay close attention to the tomatoes while training the vine to the string and keeping the suckers pinched off. I was able to grow several varieties in a limited space and the daily inspections kept me ahead of the tomato hornworms. I had some trouble keeping even moisture in the beds as they are well sheltered from the wind and have full sun all day long. So, I invested in a drip irrigation system which solved the issue.
All in all, I am very happy with the way the raised beds have turned out and working in the garden is very therapeutic.