Friday, April 26, 2013
My Raised Bed Garden ~Constructing the Bed with Blocks!
I am building a raised bed garden this year. I have built them before and had great success with growing a ton of veggies in them. This year I thought I would try a block-walled raised bed. In the past I have made them out of wood that eventually rots and falls apart so I thought this would be a little more permanent. Hubby drove some rebar down in the holes to keep the walls in place and lined up together...as if these heavy blocks were going to move! I built it double height because I have arthritis in my knee and hip so bending all the way down to the 8 inch height is just too hard on me. The walls are 6" deep and 16" tall so I can even sit to tend my garden when needed.
The area I am placing my raised bed in is not perfectly level and I didn't feel like digging it out any more so I just built it on a slight slant. I don't think that is going to be a problem because it is not a severe slope.
I lined the bottom with a thick layer of cardboard to prevent any weeds from coming up inside the raised bed. Then I tossed some gravel on the cardboard to keep it in place for now and to give a little drainage if needed. Next I will be filling it with a mix of top soil, compost, and manure.
I've started my seeds indoors to give me a little longer growing period, and because I am so anxious to get started. I am using peat pods to grow my seedlings. I have had great success with transplanting them in the past and they are so easy to use. I used a toothpick to work the soil loose and make tiny holes for my seeds to be planted. I planted a nice variety of our favorite veggies including a few varieties of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, okra, and some watermelon too. I filled two fill trays with 72 pods in each tray!
I bought this cool indoor mini greenhouse at Home Depot on sale for $25. I have it sitting near two windows in my kitchen where it is warm but not too hot. Now I just have to water them when needed and wait for them to sprout.
I saw this cool vertical garden online at the Vegetable Gardener where they have watermelon growing up a wire wall with the melons each hanging from fabric slings to support them so they don't hang down and break the vines. This also keeps your melons off the wet ground where they can spoil. And it gives you lots of extra growing space in a raised bed garden. So I Pinned it (love Pinterest!) and plan to add at least one 'growing wall' in the raised bed for my watermelons and tomatoes to grow vertically. I will keep you posted of my garden progress and how well the vertical gardening works for me since this is my first time trying it.
Have you started your garden yet? Have you tried raised beds or vertical growing? I would love to hear about how it has worked for you.