Monday, May 7, 2012

A Horseshoe Shaped Vegetable Garden

Last summer's vegetable garden didn't turn out so well.  My poor veggie plants were sad, spindly things thanks to not enough sun and sub-par dirt.   This year I was determined to change that by building a new garden for my veggies.  The best available sunny location was in my side yard, on the south side of my house.

The 'Before' Picture
I didn't have much space for it (it is a side yard, after all!), so I decided to make a horseshoe or U-shaped bed, inspired by the keyhole garden design.   Since the rocky clay is so difficult to dig in, I also decided to make it into a low, raised bed.

First step - clearing away all that grass!  That was supposed to be a mulched area.  Isn't it amazing how grass grows so well wherever you don't want it to?

I used rocks as walls, lined the edges with landscaping fabric so the dirt wouldn't fall through the cracks, and then filled it with dirt - nice, composty-rich dirt.

I left room by the downspout for a rain barrel which is going in as soon as I get it painted.  

The 'After' Picture - all done and planted
Green beans and cucumbers are in the back on the trellis, then I have tomatoes, peppers, okra, basil, carrots, cilantro, and nasturtiums on the ends.  I have high hopes - already the plants are looking better than last year's!

Nasturtiums 'Empress of India' - pretty and edible!


  1. Interesting idea for your veggie bed - I love that you've got that rainbarrel so near. I tried that Empress up north and killed it - yours looks much happier :)

  2. It looks great! I love the accessibility of keyhole beds, and your horseshoe design is a great idea. It's so nice to be able to reach everything easily. Seems like creating a raised bed was also a really good move. Love the rocks! Were they all from your property?

  3. It looks very nice. I hope it grows nice too! I will have to stop thinking square. All of my gardens are in 4X8 or 4X4 squares, but yours looks like someone could have designed it.

  4. You made maintenance really easily accessible and did it in a pleasing design. The rocks should help insulate the soil too keeping it cooler in summer.

  5. Great design, and I am thinking super convenient to be located right by the future rain barrel!

  6. How many hours of sun does your new garden get?

  7. What a great idea, Indie! I only grow tomatoes so I'll pop over to your place for the peppers, okra, carrots…. :)

  8. I saw a video on keyhole gardens on youtube when I was researching veggie gardens. Looks like you're off to a great start. Last year was sad for me gardening-wise also.

  9. All the smaller rocks were from my property. I had to go get the larger rocks, though, as I just didn't have enough rock. The new veggie bed gets sun for most of the day on that side, so hopefully it will do well! The green beans get a little less sun, being right next to my porch, but I've heard they will do okay with some shade.


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