How Will My Garden Grow?

As I mentioned last week I plan to install our garden in the alcove created by the side of the house and the back of the third garage bay.  The space measures 12′ wide by 22′ long, which is a great space for a garden.  Here is the space as it sits.

GardenI knew I wanted the garden fenced off from the rest of the yard so the dogs wouldn’t be in there when we’re not home, but I hadn’t really decided what kind of fencing to use until I saw this community garden here in Anchorage!  Can you say AH-MAZE-ING?!


CIHAPostAnd the construction seemed simple enough – hog panels stapled (with heavy duty staples) onto posts and trim supports. While I love the arbor around the top, that might come in “Phase 2” but it would provide a great spot for plants such as strawberries or even tomatoes to trail!  I also plan for the pergola over the gate to come later.  It’s more important to get the garden going and producing than making it super pretty right?

Granted, my garden won’t be this big, (and if it was I might have to quit my day-job just to maintain it!), but the overall layout and design is a perfect example of what I want.  I took the hubs by to make sure it was doable on a smaller scale and he liked it.  He even mentioned how their raised beds were probably the exact design he’d suggest for our garden!


Although I’d love to have a green house right away, I know that likely won’t happen until next summer.  But when it does happen, I plan to use these plans!  I’m thinking the green house will end up somewhere to the right of the garden where it will get sunlight all day.  Until then I will use hoops over the raised beds to extend the growing season on either end.

Right now I plan to grow chard, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes (regular and cherry), bell peppers (different colors for salsa!), carrots, green and yellow onions, potatoes, jalapenos (not sure how they will fare in this climate, so I might have to wait until we have a green house), garlic, snow peas, green beans and broccoli.  I also recently inherited a purple cauliflower plant which will find a home in my garden if it survives the move.  I also plan to have stacked planters like these on the back deck in which I’ll transplant my current salad bowl and create an herb garden with basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, dill and cilantro, which can be moved during the winter.

BarrelI recently found this plastic barrel for free on Craigslist and plan to create something like this with it to plant my strawberries in.  A planter and compost all in one?  Sounds great!  Made with a freebie barrel – even better!

RainBarrelWe will also be installing rain barrels with rain chains around the house like this.  Luckily, I have a previous photography client who used wine and whiskey barrels as their wedding decor and no longer needs them, so I’ve got some earmarked for me at a discounted rate! 🙂  I also found this super simple and inexpensive tutorial for a copper rain chain that I plan to make.  And because we are working with the rain garden program, any money spent on these rain catchments counts toward our overall budget, of which half will will be reimbursed!

Now we just need to fast forward to move in day and put all these plans into action!


11 thoughts on “How Will My Garden Grow?

  1. It sounds like you will be gardening full time with all the stuff you’re growing!! Can’t wait to see some of your bounty.

  2. We’ve trying to come up with plans (using hog fencing) to make a side fence and incorporate a garden in it. This looks amazing. Great job

    1. This is actually a local community garden we were inspired by. We ended up turning this space into a chicken coop due to the lack of exposure and it worked well for us. Now we have a greenhouse we’ll be using starting this season! You can read more about both of those projects by using the search feature above. Good luck with your project. I’d love to see how it turns out. 🙂

  3. While I really like this design. It should be noted that well a garden fence is often to keep animals out of it. I also am in the planning stages of putting in a cedar fence around my approx. 12 ft by 24 ft garden. I must mention that I am a health inspector and deal with rodent control on a normal basis. Field mice only need a 4 mm hole to fit in while rats only need 8 mm. I like the look of this fence but it will not keep out the smaller animals that can still wreak havoc on your garden. I had a massive garden last year that i grew from seed with tomato plants over 7 feet but a good part of it was defoliated in less than a week by a wood chuck, rats, and rabbits. I would suggest adding 1/4 in hardware cloth to this design to keep the animals out.

    1. All good points, although here in Alaska the #1 predator for gardens are massive moose who see them as buffets so the larger fence is preferred! I think the inspiration garden I show here deters many of the smaller eaters you mention with the raised beds, so even if they come through the wire they still can’t reach the plants without additional effort which would probably put them in sight of their predators (owls & hawks).

  4. I’m from Anchorage originally but haven’t lived there in a few years. Which community garden is this exactly? I would love to find more pictures but haven’t had any luck searching for “Anchorage community garden”. Most of the municipality owned ones aren’t that great looking. We’re about to build a large garden in our front yard and we’ve discovered that deer come through the yard and can be somewhat destructive. An ounce of prevention and all that. At least with moose you could hear them usually, deer travel in groups and are quiet. Thanks!

    1. This is a newer garden at one of the new Cook Inlet Housing Authority complexes that was built in the past few years in Muldoon. I can’t remember the name of the complex but I’m sure that it doesn’t have a website or additional information online about it as they focus more on the housing and what type of residents it’s for. Wish I could be of more help. You should be able to figure out a similar set up from the pictures though. Good luck with your garden!

      1. Thank you for your reply. I did have a another quick question: Any idea why the wire panels go up all the way in the back and the side you took the picture from has a different design for the upper half?

      2. I hadn’t even noticed it until you pointed it out. It’s probably for moose protection since that side is right against the woods and the more open side is facing toward the complex where people would be the more common traffic. Plus the landscaping around the front side might be more interesting to a hungry moose than what’s beyond the fence so there’s less likelihood for them to put their head through to grab a bite. 🙂

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