Setting up the Garden (Free is good)

Setting up a garden takes such a long time, but we’re off and running! The whole summer, we watched the shadows from the trees and noted the rainy low spots, and we finally made the decision to place our vegetable garden in front of the barn. Since Tennessee soil is so tough to work, we opted for raised beds.

When we moved in, we were frustrated to find the barn and garage filled to the brim with junk, but in a nice turn of events, some of the junk turned out to be worthwhile junk. Farm Hero built eight beds using nothing but the old barn wood we found covered with tarps in the back of the barn. The 4x4s for the corners were found laying in the grass outside of the barn.We didn’t realize they were covered with ants until we picked them up, causing a bit of jumping around when they started biting, but free is free. Shake it off! We also had dozens and dozens of cardboard boxes from our move, so all that grass has been nicely covered. No tilling! Yay!

After Farm Hero finished building the beds, we had to search for soil to fill them. We’re in the middle of nowhere, so finding a company to deliver way the heck out here isn’t as easy as running into town. We finally found “The Mulch Company” out of Dickson, TN and had six yards of soil delivered. Between the Black Kow manure and peat moss we bought a few months ago, a bunch of leaves from the fall trees, and six yards of soil, we got the eight beds pretty well filled.

We have plans to add eight additional beds next season. We’re also planning a ground spot to plant corn. We found a fairly new rototiller in the barn (Surprise!), but we haven’t dug it out yet to see if it works. We’re still questioning where the compost pile and the rain barrels will go, although we think we have our heads wrapped around those locations. Fortunately, we also found quite a few rain barrels in the barn. Free again!

I have a lot of seeds and bought the remainder from “Gurney’s” and I’m ready to go! Some seeds will be started in the greenhouse in February and more in March and the rest will get directly planted in the garden in mid April. I’ll post another blog when we get planted, another when we install our garden fence (ugh), and probably a few more during growth and harvest.

My planting list is:

Kenebec White Potatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes



White Onion

Green Onion


Pickling Cucumbers

Bok Choi

Iceberg Lettuce

Leaf Lettuce


Sugar Peas

Lima Beans

Green Beans

Black Beans


Green Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers






Cherry Tomatoes

Amish Paste Tomatoes

Nebraska Wedding Tomatoes

Early Girl Tomatoes



…and just about every herb you can name.

In case you’ve noticed the missing flowers, they’re going in the beds in front of the house. Those aren’t built yet.

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