Monday, September 10, 2012

Rule #2: Raised beds or containers

Rule #2: raised beds or containers is essential for me. In other areas of the country, in other areas of Texas even you can grow in the soil in your backyard, but I prefer to grow my veggies in 8 - 12 inches of screened compost. Even in Montana where there was tons of rich soil, raised beds would have saved me from the massive weed invasions.

My raised beds are made out of 2 x 4 untreated lumber and held together with a 12" piece of 4 x 4 at each corner.

My raised beds are 4 ft by 8 ft. This is a length I can reach across but still holds a lot of plants. I grew all my veggies in 2 beds like this last year. This year I am adding 2 more beds (the one above and another one) and I'm growing in some containers.

I put cardboard underneath the beds and out several inches on the sides to keep weeds from sneaking in. 

Around the outsides I put mulch to walk on, in this case shredded cedar, but I have used dried leaves and commercial bark mulch. 

The inside of the bed will be filled with screened compost from Fertile Garden. I get 1/2 yard of compost in my Dad's Ford Ranger, that will fill one of these beds. They sell "Garden Soil" but I have found the veggies grow best in straight compost.

For the containers, I like containers that are at least 1 foot across and deep, any smaller needs too frequent of watering and doesn't have enough room for roots. I like the potting soil you can buy at Fertile Gardens, too, but you only need a bag and not a whole truck load. You can also bring in a 5 gallon bucket and fill it up for cheap! :)