If at first you don’t succeed, build raised garden beds.
January 01, 2011

Three weeks ago, my garden was lovely.  A few potato plants were sprouting.  They looked like little green tufts of leaves above the ground.  Next came the garlic shoots, stretching and pointing toward the sky.  Then the radishes and the parsnips and the rhubarb chard.  The sweet potatoes.  The spinach and the beets and the onions.  And finally, FINALLY, a few small carrots poked through the Earth, cautious and fragile.

Two weeks ago, it began to rain.

It rained for six days.  Then it stopped.  Then it picked up again.

And that is how we found out that the plot we tilled and tediously planted and weeded and worked?  Is a natural waterway.  Like a part-time, rain-only stream.

Nearly the entire garden was washed away.  The potatoes, the parsnips, the carrots, the rhubarb chard.  Most of the spinach and radishes are gone and the onions have been pummeled by water.  They are only half the height they were.  We have seven beet plants and four sweet potato plants left.

In fact, the only crop that seems to have survived the H2O carnage is the garlic.  All forty feet and three varieties of garlic are thriving.

I know it’s a little lame, but I’m pretty sure there’s a good vampire joke hiding in there somewhere.


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  1. By Jessika on January 01, 2011

    Hi Sarah,
    I completely feel your pain. While we don’t typically get dumpings as crazy as you guys just had (my folks were amazed—they’re in Escondido), we do get quite the lot of rain up here. It necessitates some sort of bed system or well-raised mounds with canals around them. If you go to the store and get the cheap cedar fenceboards, you can usually build a nice-sized garden bed (the 3x6’ size works best for utility purposes—the 6x6’ bed has too much middle). And, the best thing is that the bed will only cost about $6. I made all of ours myself. While I know your husband is handy, just shoot me an email if you have any questions!!

  2. By on January 01, 2011

    My grandparents lived in Washington and had a wonderful raised bed garden.  Even with all the rain they got, their garden thrived beautifully.  Good luck on the next round!

  3. By erin on January 02, 2011

    Hah!  Remind me not to sit next to you at dinner. ;)

    I used two 2x12’s and a couple stakes cut from 2x2’s to make my 2x10 bed.  I am planning on doing a second one, 4x8, this spring.  It takes about half a cubic yard of compost etc to fill.  It was a bit more expensive than Jessika’s (about $20 for one bed) but a bit sturdier as we are here for the long haul.

    I think all my lettuces have been blown away, btw.  And I think my potatoes drowned.  So, you are not alone.


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