Friday, June 30, 2017

Raised Beds

We have always had raised beds in the southern half of the garden, but not in the other half.
The soil is very thin here in the Bruce, and so anything that can increase its volume is most welcome.
These first raised beds were made when the garden was first created, around 2007, and are very permanent, made of stones and concrete.

The existing raised beds made of stones and concrete

The new raised beds are simply made of boards, not of pressure treated wood but rather of cedar (Thuya). This is a wood very resistant to rot, and it happens to be the most common lumber around here. It is also milled locally.

The new raised beds
Some of the beds, like the ones on the right with poles for beans, will have to wait until the autumn to get their frames, since they were already planted by the time we were ready to "encase" them.
In hindsight, we might not have bothered with pole beans this year, because so far our summer has been cool and very rainy. Beans that did manage to sprout (after several seedings), have just been sitting there, waiting for warmer weather.

The plastic cloches below are to give a boost to the peppers and eggplants. The weather this year is far from ideal for growing eggplants since they want a lot of heat, but the cloches seem to keep them hot enough as they are growing very well. On the other hand, the weather is perfect for lettuce in the bed on the right.

As you can see, we like growing perennial and especially annual flowers together with vegetables. The raised beds make it simpler by creating a definite demarcation line between the one and the other.  They also make the vegetable garden neater.

The garden is very lush with all the rain (there has been a shower just about everyday and a couple of downpours every week). With global warming, forecasters have been talking about rainier summers for our area. This seems to be indeed the case as the last few summers have been wet. In the 90s, we had severe drought just about every summer.

As all gardeners know, weeds seem to benefit from this wet weather even more than garden plants. At least the cool weather has lengthened blooming periods, and we still have some herbaceous peonies (even if these are the side shoots).


  1. Your garden is beautiful, everywhere!

  2. We have had a very dry month or so but it rained this week and the weeds have responded? With very thin soil I would imagine that raised beds are really useful.

  3. Your garden and those raised beds are looking great! Barely keeping up with ours here.

  4. You have a fabulous mix of artful arranging and utilitarian organization. I like it very much! In some ways, I envy your growing season. Ours this year has waffled between too hot and dry to too cool and wet and back and forth. It looks like summer is finally settling into a warm, regular precipitation pattern as is our normal most years. Your edibles--particularly the lettuce--look so yummy!

  5. What a beautiful vegetable garden! I bet scraping enough soil together to fill the bed was no easy task, but I bet the plants love the extras root room.

  6. Hello Alain, I love the plants growing in the gravel between the raised beds, the "flowering rocks" it looks so amazing and unique. For the raised beds, will you be trying deeper beds such as ones that are a foot or more deep/tall for root vegetables?

  7. What the peony! Alain, I liked your idea with plastic cloches, it's good for cool summer that we have too. I don't believe in global warmth because last summers are cooler and cooler. I love the raised beds as well, I have some of them and my back is happy :-)


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