Friday, July 5, 2013

The Raised Bed




This is my raised bed made of really old railroad ties. This is the bed in winter when it is all dormant.  


In spring one end houses rhubarb.  


The other end strawberries. 


And in between the two crops various vegetables including onions. These Walla Walla onions were an experiment with milk jugs and seeds. I started these onions in February in milk jugs outside. No lights or heat. They are the biggest onions on the farm and I think next year I will experiment with this some more.  

Anyone else out there start their seeds like this. I am amazed at the preliminary results of my first experiment and would love to hear other people's experiences with milk jugs winter sowing. 


Also tucked in this bed are beets Cylindra and carrots Scarlet Nantes. I cannot grow carrots in my regular garden soil because it has way too many rocks. Carrots do not like rocks.  I am anxious to see what kind of crop I get from these in the bed. If I get a good crop I am seriously considering removing the strawberries and planting this entire bed with root crops next time.  This would enable me to grow my own carrots as long as I  keep lots of compost and amendments in this bed to keep the soil light.  


Also in this bed are tucked some California Wonder Bell Peppers.


And Jericho romaine lettuce.

It amazes me the amount of food crammed into this small space. I think that as O Wise One and I age this type of gardening will be what we eventually go to. Raised beds with heavily amended soil that require maybe more watering but less bending and stooping. My only complaint was that when my son in law made this bed for me he made it too wide to reach across and I have to climb up in it to weed, pick and plant.  I think the next beds we have will be much narrower and maybe a little taller.  

Anyone else out there garden in raised beds. Do you garden with raised beds? I would love some input on the design of your beds or what works for you. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

6 comments:

  1. We have something in common-I see we each use our own photos for our blogs..every time I am tempted to go another direction intending to go for a "more professional" look..I ALWAYS COME BACK to what feels like 'me'

    great pics and o my what PRODUCE you produce!!

    Jonell
    Like Gramma's House

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  2. We have gardened with raised beds the last two years... we took care building them lasagna-style... and we add amendments regularly. I think they have more than rewarded us this year. I am on my third rotation in some of the boxes... and add amendments each time. Our tomatoes... though planted too close together... are thriving like crazy. Ditto with the peas and lettuce, now gone by. We recommend it!

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  3. I have both a traditional garden and some raised beds. My beds always perform well, and like Mary Ann I rotate several items thru them during the growing season.

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  4. I have a traditional and 5 raised beds 4'X 12'. I like the raised beds for strawberries as it is much easier to pick & weed. I generally plant everything in the raised beds except potatoes, tomatoes, beans,corn, broccoli,cauliflower, & winter squash. I heavily mulch which reduces the need to water as much, but it still requires more water than the traditional garden.

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    Replies
    1. Don I have also noticed that my one raised bed requires more water than my garden also! I think because it drains so much faster..

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  5. Although I plant in a community garden now, I used to plant in raised beds that were made by heaping soil upon soil.. The soil is beautiful & friable in a raised bed.. Have you read any of Ruth Stouts books on No Till Gardening? She just threw hay. grass, veg scraps over her garden and never tilled again.. You could easily do that in a raised bed. I still plant in "bed style" for most of my veggies in my garden.. but not all. I live in town now & dont have a place to have a garden at my home otherwise I would have all raised beds. With enough hay/mulch, you'll still reduce your need for more water. I think its the perfect growing system.

    I too tried the Winter Sowing Method this year for the first time. I had about 16 different containers from veggies to flowers. My shasta daisies did wonderfully as did all the tomatoes, peppers, onions, & leeks. Ohh.. my tomatillos did wonderful as well. This was the first time I've gotten them to germinate. I plan to continue to use this method since it worked so well for me.. but I also plan to continue to use my basement lights & grow station. I was surprised at how well it worked.. Here is where I heard about it & some articles you can read about it.. http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/category/gardening/winter-sowing/

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