The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Forget the Roof; Raise the Bed! April 11, 2008

Neville’s folks delivered their unused decking material, which is called “Profection,” for those of you who might be interested, and we now have a pretty swanky 4’x4′ frame for a raised bed. Nev spent all yesterday afternoon screwing the thing together, as his drill kept running low on battery power and finding functional outdoor outlets was no easy task.

Here is the finished product, along with me and a cozy but rather confused Freya (“We’re staying outdoors?”). In this shot I’m pondering where I should position the bed for it to receive the most sun exposure. This is on the south wall of the house and there are trees on either side. The farther I can pull the bed out towards the lawn, the more sun it will get. However, last week, in a fit of optimism unbefitting a Yankee, I planted that very strip of soil. Those seeds there might be living on borrowed time. If they could have seen me, they would have read this sentiment in my furrowed brow. An impending sacrifice to Demeter?!

I am incredibly stingy with seeds and seedlings. I plant only a couple more seeds than I intend on bringing to maturity, just barely hedging my germination bet. I do not thin. It makes gardening suspenseful, because harvest is riding on every plant, and it’s so satisfyingly frugal, in a way very much befitting a Yankee. And, in opposition to my complex beliefs regarding human life and empowered decisions, my attitude in gardening is very simply: I believe in a seed’s right to life!

Hence the furrowed brow and pensive fist. In any case, the seeds in the ground have a little while yet to show themselves before I make a final decision: The weather is raw and rainy and probably will be for several days. Only after the clouds clear will I position the bed for good; then I’ll fill it, cover it with black garbage bags, and let the new soil warm in the sun for a couple days.

Are you under there, Demeter? Throw me a bone!


3 Responses to “Forget the Roof; Raise the Bed!”

  1. concretegardening Says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I’m frugal too! No need to thin. It still looks cold where you are! (It was 75 yesterday in Philadelphia!) Good day for our big move. Exciting news: I may have a vigilante garden plot!

  2. nigeysex Says:

    Hello “the root”

    Good set of updates – nice to follow your adventures and sorry to sound so suprised but nice to see a yankee (your words) to excited about raised beds, seeds, compost shopping etc etc!!

    There is a natural inclination by the British to assume Americans know nothing and don’t care about such life and frugality – sweeping generalisations and stereotypes I’m afraid – although this was also confirmed by an American I met here in the UK at a seed swap event.

    Ah well, glad I found your blog and will follow avidly.

    Hopefully you will also find the joy of ‘sexy earth’ as I do when I have prepared the soil and turning it over or weeding it. :>


  3. […] some seeds were lost I did, in fact, move the bed forward towards the lawn, covering a couple dozen poorly-placed seeds of radishes and spinach, but not before scrabbling on the ground to save what sprouts I […]

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