Thursday, May 23, 2013

Raised Beds

Until we can get more ground prepared for a garden, we decided to make some raised beds for growing vegetables. We are planning to “double dig” an area for a garden, but it has turned out to be very labor intensive. So in order to be able to have a few vegetables this summer, we decided to do something quicker.

Son made us two big boxes out of the boards from the old deck. We decided to make them about 18” high to allow plenty of space for roots. And since the deck boards were 16 feet long, we used that length to make it simpler.

We got our dirt mix from the local organic garden center. It took two trips with the trailer to get all we needed. For each raised bed we used 18 bags of Raised Bed Mix, 1 cubic yard of compost, and 1 cubic yard of top soil. We put down a ground sheet as a barrier between the ground and the raised bed mix. We tried to mix it together as we filled the boxes.

We have added soaker hoses for irrigation, connected to a small timer.

We also bought small plants at the garden center: tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and onions.

The old deck boards were the perfect size.

Some of the boards were warped, but it didn't really matter.

Our raised beds are roughly 16 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 18 inches high.

We used Soil Menders Raised Bed Mix.

One cubic yard of compost turns out to be one scoop with the front loader.

We used sheets of ground cover to discourage weeds and grass growing in our beds.

Our first location had a 12 inch slope which we felt was too much.

We (Guv'nor and Son, while I watched) rotated the beds 90 degrees.

The slope was about 1 inch in the new location.

The ground cover was nailed into place.

We put layers of compost/top soil, raised bed mix, and compost/top soil.

I raked it level while they put it in by wheelbarrel fulls.

The two raised beds ready to plant.

I put down soaker hoses before planting.

Hopefully I have given the plants enough space.

I moved the soaker hoses to be nearer the plants.

Guv'nor made me a few tomato cages out of leftover fencing.

You twist the dial for the time you want - a bit like an egg timer.

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