Raised Bed Gardening
August 31, 2011, 10:27 pm
Filed under: August 2011
Josh and I making the bed

August 31, 2011

     The day was  beautiful. It was a little hot, but a breeze blew much of the time. My son and I constructed two large raised beds gardens. They measure 5 feet by 24 feet, by thirty inches deep. It will make gardening much easier in my advanced age. In the meantime, they will be home to our strawberry patch.
     The idea came to me this year while picking strawberries. The idea  clobbered me once again while picking green beans. I am not sure if it was my head or my back that screamed the loudest, but I got the message just the same. No more bending over, practically standing on your head to pick vegetables and small fruits.
     I chose the width of five feet so that we can easily reach into the rows. We can get two rows per bed, planted the twenty-four feet way. That will make plenty of strawberries for us. The other bed will be for green beans, salad vegetables, herbs,carrots and onions. I think we will plant them the short way in five feet rows, with adequate spacing between those rows. Every two years we will switch the beds, enabling us to rotate crops as part of our sustainable approach to gardening.
     Some purest will wince that I used treated lumber for my bed frames, but I am not too worried. We don’t scrape the sides or eat the wood so shame on my indifference, but I couldn’t find any locust lumber for the purpose. I didn’t want to wait any longer to build the beds, so we went with what was available.
     I filled the beds with two feet of composted animal manure. Then I put eight to twelve inches of topsoil on the top layer. We will cover the whole thing with plastic and let the sun kill the weeds, then plant a cover crop that will stay on all winter, effectively putting the gardens to bed for the winter.
     I have all sorts of plans for our new beds. I think row covers will help us get off and growing much sooner in the spring. Moisture should be no problem and the soil should warm up faster too. I think this will be a fun experiment and a great new way to provide for our family.
     My son and I got lots of help from my grandchildren, but we built them both in one day anyway 😮 The kids had fun playing, driving nails in an old board, playing with the puppy and just being outside working with the family.
     Lunchtime came ,we cooked on the grill and had a small picnic. The breeze kept the flies away as we shared food and conversation. The whole day was pleasant. The work went well. My son took charge and did an awesome job with cutting, fitting and nailing.
     These last few days, Connie and I have accomplished many things on our to-do list. The garden beds are done, the new patio flower beds are all built and the planting is underway. We split a bunch of perennials and planted them on the south border of the garden. Those beds had to be built as well. I guess some would say that I have only been playing in the dirt. I think they are right, but man does it tire a guy out!
     The ODOT guys finished the ditch cleaning today. I stopped counting dump trucks when we got to 100. The steep slope at the back pond is looking better. Once the dirt dries out some, we can push it around and make it look nice. Talk about a green project! We used the waste soil for what will become a partial pasture. It is also green because it is full of cattail, sod and green beer bottles 😮  Hey I know about this stuff … I have been playing in the dirt for over fifty years!

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I know the knees & backs @ Riceland Meadows are older than mine, but I too embrace your solution using raised beds!
(Oh and by the way, why no faces lately in the pics? – you men are so handsome!)

Comment by Charlie

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