The first year at a place is always an experiment, and last year was no exception. The previous people had 3 large raised (and I do mean raised—3 feet deep) strawberry beds in the backyard—12 feet by 4 feet. It took up the better part of the yard. I tore those apart last year, using the soil, which was excellent, in the beds. I used the old logs that the beds were made of as sides for the new beds.
That wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done. The logs were starting to decompose—some more than others—and attracted slugs. I've never had a slug problem before, but last year I did. They are destructive little creatures! They eat just enough of something to destroy it and then move on. I resolved to eliminate their habitat!
So, this weekend I began building beds from 2x8 untreated boards. It was a beautiful weekend to work outside and I got most of them built. I even managed to plant 34 feet of straw potatoes. I had them "chitting" for a few weeks; they were getting nice and sprouted, so I cut them into chunks on Wednesday. They need to heal a few days after that, so Saturday was perfect for them.
I cleaned up the beds, forked them over, and raked them out. Then I laid the potatoes out and put about 6–12 inches of straw over the top. Because these beds are exposed to a lot of wind coming off the ridge, I covered them with row cover to hold the straw in place. Once the potatoes start pushing up through the straw, they will hold it in place and I'll remove the row cover. The row cover also keeps them warmer, speeding their growth a bit.
I didn't have time to plant anything else, but I did transplant the broccoli raab. It should have been transplanted 2 weeks ago, but the beds weren't ready. It has started to bolt, so I may not get much production out of them. That's alright, though, I've started a second planting...
So that is how my garden goes...hopefully I'll be able to plant this week, although the forecast isn't encouraging. Neither is the weather right now; it's 40°F, rainy and very windy. Not the kind of weather that invites you to play outside!