Vegetable Garden (with minor woodworking)

May 6, 2012 Comments Off on Vegetable Garden (with minor woodworking)

This is our fifth year in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve quickly realized that spring is the most unpredictable of the seasons. Spring can come anywhere between March and June. Last year it came at the end of June. One week later it was summer. This year it hasn’t been too bad. We’ve had some warm days (especially on the weekends which is really weird), and even with plenty of rain there have been nice, pleasant dry days in between. The warmer weather, though, means that our vegetable gardening schedule has been accelerated. Last year, the first full spring in our house, we grew everything in containers because we didn’t have the time or energy to get the permanent garden area in shape (and cooler, rainy weather all the way through June didn’t help either). This year, though, Judy is ready for the real thing and that means I have work to do.

We have a 100 square foot area, a perfect 10’ x 10’ square, in our little backyard that we can devote to a garden. While we could just till up and amend the soil and get to planting, we have one small issue – dogs. One of our dogs in particular, Murphy, likes to dig (he currently has three Murphy-sized holes in the yard) and he likes to eat vegetables. And both (male) dogs like to lift their legs on any green, plant-like thing growing up from the ground. So the garden must be dog-proofed with raised beds and a fence.

I’m still finalizing the fence design, but the raised beds are mostly done. They are simple 2’x10’x20” cedar boxes, but to give them a little extra something (and a way for me to call this “woodworking”), I added a 5/8” bead along the top outer edges. I picked up this plane (and nearly all the others I own) from Josh Clark, and though 5/8” is too big for most furniture work, it’s just the right size for this application. The plane is in almost mint condition; it looks like it was hardly ever used. It just took a few minutes of sharpening and a few tweaks to get it humming along. There are few things more fun in woodworking than wooden molding planes. You quickly realize that routers were invented for production shops that needed to crank out thousands of feet of moldings a day. For the home woodworker, though, moldings and edge treatments are so much more enjoyable with planes.


Hops have risen.

Lilacs in bloom.


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