I restarted my organic gardening career in 2010. By the time I got going it
was mid to late fall, so what I was doing basically was to get ready for the
following year. I decided to make raised beds of sorts and I had a specific
plan and layout in mind. But before the year ran out, I had already modified
The original plan was to make a series of 4’ wide beds with alleyways between
them. The 4’ designation is very common because it gives you a 2’ reach into the
bed from either side. I was going to use cinder blocks to define the outline and
then fill the interior with soil (dirt). The alleys were about 2 ˝ to 3’ wide
giving enough space for a lawn mower to pass through. The planting space
of the 4 original beds would be about 22’ x 4’ (by the fence), 23’ x 4’, 22’ x 4’,
20’ x 4’ (the 3 front beds). I used the back fence as a starting point for measuring.
It cut the property on a slant. That’s about a total area of 22’ x 16’ or 352 sq ft.
But, I got greedy and realized I could use that extra space in the aisles to grow
more crops. So I capped the ends and I filled in the aisles as well. That added
about 114 sq ft or 22’ x 5’ extra planting space. While that might have sounded good
at first, it left me with very little walking room for in between. This photo shows
the layout from what I call the front of the plots (shot from the northwest corner
of the yard.
This other photo shows the same area as shot from the southern portion of the yard.
You might notice the strings in the thinner beds over what looks like footprints
in the soil. The strings mark out a straight line within each of those beds. Those
aren’t footprints. That’s where I dug a hole, planted a garlic clove right under
the string, and then filled in the soil. Garlic is typically planted in the fall to
be harvested the following summer. The cloves will typically sprout before freezing
temperature sets in and then goes dormant during the “deep freeze”. The following
spring when the weather begins to warm, the garlic plant wakes up from its slumber
and begins to grow again.