RicelandMeadows


Early Spring Gardening
April 21, 2013, 8:51 am
Filed under: April 2013 | Tags: ,
Getting the raised beds ready

Getting the raised beds ready

 

April 21, 2013

Last year we built these raised beds. They make gardening much easier for my old back. We do have a large conventional garden where we grow the bulk of our food, but these beds are for the low growing labor intensive crops. It was much easier last year, to pick green beans at waist level 😮

Our beds settled from the topsoil and compost we added last year. We are putting another layer of compost on this spring. This “black gold” makes the vegetables almost jump out of the ground. The sun warms the dark soil faster. The nutrient laden compost is full of all the “goodies” the plants need.

These raised beds make it possible to get an early start to the growing season. The soil warms quickly. The beds dry out and can be worked much sooner than the rest of our gardens. After a cold and snowy winter…it is great fun to be planting seeds in the warm ground!

We do supply water to these beds. They tend to dry out quickly, but water added at the root zone, by way of drip irrigation, keeps the plants lush and growing very well. The compost also acts as a bit of a sponge, holding water for the plants. We only add the water when the plants need it. We aim at an inch of water per week by nature or us, but an inch is the magic number.

I have been gardening for quite awhile now. I have experience as to what an inch of rain looks like, but the novice can monitor the moisture in these simple ways; Hang up a rain gage and measure what nature provides. Then take an empty tuna fish can, bury it in the topsoil just under the soaker hose. Water can be added by watching the level in the empty can, just measure it with a ruler.

When I water, I find it much better to add a quarter of an inch four times a week, rather than a good soaking everytime. I do occasionally forget that the hose is running … and boy do I soak t then! It is no problem, plants are forgiving. Just do your best and the plants will do theirs…the rewards are awesome! 😮

 


1 Comment so far
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Hi Ralph and Connie,
We have our grandkids this weekend, would it be possible for us to come visit late Saturday afternoon? That is if Tom doesn’t get called in! They would love to see the animals and I’m hoping Tom will get inspired by your raised bed! LOL

Comment by Robin




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