Creating plenty of garden beds was the first priority in the vegetable garden but there have been other beneficial additions made too that are making the veggie garden work well this season.
A double composting bin was the very first project we took on and it has been working wonders since the day it was installed. Each season I have managed to empty at least two full bins of compost into my garden to use in flower beds, around newly planted trees and in veggie beds. I can always use more compost it seems and this bin has worked hard to provide that for me. Despite the large size though I still have more scraps that don't make it in. Sawdust from Jody's workshop, sod dug up from new garden projects, apples from the orchard. It's a never ending supply and I have a loose pile cooking beside the bin all the time. Adding a second composter in another location would be a great future project.
Another great addition has been the rain barrel.
I only just acquired this barrel a few weeks ago but already it has worked wonders. Previously there was no water source for this part of the yard. The garage has no electricity or plumbing so a rain barrel has been the perfect solution. Water is collected off the roof of the garage via gutters and so far has been used to water new veggie seedlings. As the summer warms up tomatoes, squash and other thirsty plants will all use this water as well. Previously I was running up to the house and filling buckets and bringing them back down which was heavy and tiring work. Having a barrel of water right in the garden has made life much easier and more efficient. It's so great in fact that I'm looking for a second barrel. When it rains the first barrel fills up very quickly and having a second barrel to collect overflow would mean that during the long hot summer months I'm less likely to run out of water.
One more investment I made this year was tomato supports.
When we lived in BC I had a set of these tomato spirals but in the great move they were sold in a garage sale. I've been missing them ever since. So in February, while we were in Halifax, I visited Lee Valley and picked up another set. These are the perfect way to grow a few indeterminate tomatoes without setting up a whole trellis system. Each stake is made of steel and is 6 feet long so they can be buried deeply to provide strong support. Having these I was able to plant some indeterminate varieties along with the bush variety tomatoes.
The best new addition I've made this year has been a very simple one.
Jody came home with a roll of plastic mesh from a second hand store one day and asked if I could use it. I stashed it in the garage until an idea hit. Every year I have trouble with cats digging in my garden beds. I place straw over the beds in winter to keep them from digging but when I have to plant seeds the beds are left uncovered and the cats inevitably tear them up. This year after planting I stretched rolls of that plastic mesh across the top of the beds and stapled it. There's a couple inches below for seeds to take hold and the cats won't try walking across the mesh. Finally! my annual cat issue has been solved.