Supply chain issues due to the pandemic reinforced our decision to become more self-reliant and dedicated to garden production. (And less tied to suppliers who are affected by issues that we have no control over.) We slowly changed from casual gardeners interested in making salsa to die-hard gardeners with a desire to produce food for our family.
Our house sits on three-quarters of an acre lot in the Illinois suburbs of St Louis. Most of our land is on a hill. But there is a flat spot at the bottom of our backyard. This is where we have been building our small garden for several years. By no means are we expert gardeners. But we want to share the conversion of our garden over the last few years with all of you.
2017: Our garden was a mess and needed constant weeding
In 2017 we converted our garden from planting rows to a raised bed garden system. But the weeds were horrendous, and we were spending about an hour per week weeding. We tried using plastic inside the raised beds to keep the weeds at a minimum but it didn't work well for us.
It was challenging to access some of the plants due to the proximity of fencing and the raised beds planted too close together. Plus, the garden was a mess and needed to be reorganized. St Louis has hot and humid summers, and weeds thrive on the weather. Sometimes it was difficult to get motivated to weed the garden in June, July, and August because it was so steamy.