Sunday, May 31, 2009

Raised beds in place and planted

The raised beds are in place and planted. I have planted tomatoes, zucchini, egg plants, okra, bell peppers, banana peppers, spinach, lettuce, bush beans, collard greens and cilantro.

Tomatoes in cages

Zucchinis planted in hills.

From left to right, eggplants, bell peppers, and okra.

This is the first year that I have actually used a grid. As Mel Bartholomew says, you aren't square foot gardening if you don't use a grid. After getting a grid in place, I understand his point. Without a grid, you tend to plant rows. Once you have a grid in place, you plant squares. It's a different approach. I think that I will go seed shopping and start some seedlings to go into the squares as I harvest them. The lettuce and spinach will be harvested and replaced with another vegetable.

I created the grid by screwing in metal eyes, three per side, to inside of the top board then strung natural jute twin across the bed in one foot spacing.

This is year two of my raised-bed garden and I am learning more and enjoying the garden much more now that tilling and weeding are a thing of the past.

Buzz it up


Tracie said...

Hi Joy,
Are you located in Boise, Idaho? I did a search and you came up. I'm wanting to get started with SFG in Boise and am wondering if anyone sells the pre mixed soil..? Love your blog. Thanks, Tracie

Joy said...

Hi Tracie,

I live in the Kansas City area. I have not seen a prepackaged planting mix for Mel's Mix, however it is very easy to mix yourself. Mel suggests equal parts of sphagnum peat moss, compost, and vermiculite. I use cotton boll compost because the local garden center told me they use it for all their potted plants and seedlings. They also said that an equal part of vermiculite might be too much so I usually stay at equal parts of peat and compost and then maybe a little less vermiculite. Some people have told me that they have trouble finding the vermiculite. Try a local garden center that also sells bulk quantities of soil ammendments. They will typically also have vermiculite. A smaller garden center close to my home did not carry it last year, but I asked for it and now they carry it this year. Yeah! So even if you can't find it easily, ask your local garden center to carry it. Once you build your raised bed frame, you can mix the planting mix in the frame. Let me know if you have any other questions. - Joy

Joy said...

One more thing I forgot to mention, I used my own compost for most of my Mel's mix this year. So once you start a compost bin, then you can use your own yard clippings to create the compost for your beds. I use the cotton boll compost when I don't have enough of my own compost. Either works great.

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