5 Steps to a Raised, Organic Garden Bed

  • Step #1-Find a spot with good sun. 5-8 hours per day. Mostly level with slight drainage slope. Southwest or South facing is usually good.

I built my first raised garden bed back in 2013.  I needed a second bed this year because I started so many seeds, and I was ready to expand my garden. I completed the construction of the second bed in June finally-thanks to a lot of help from my wonderful husband. He did a lot of the hard work this time because I was recovering from surgery.

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  • Step #2- Get materials, Construct, & Fill the Bed –

Materials needed– untreated wood, corner stakes, screws and drill, hammer

I refilled last year’s bed back in late April because it had settled and lost volume. I used some of my own compost from the Earth Machine, and I supplemented with organic mushroom compost and organic pine bark soil conditioner.

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The Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, and Oregano survived the winter!

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Lots of shovel turning later and …

  • Step #3- Decide & Plan what you will plant & where in the bed you will put the plants
  • Step #4- Plant herb and vegetable seeds and/or plants
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The picture above is from mid May at planting time. Everything looked a little yellow here, but below is a photo from just recently. Everything took off and I have had the best garden year yet!

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Sweet Basil
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Pickling Cucumber
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Early Girl Tomato
  • Step #5-Tend the beds by watering, removing pests, and harvesting throughout the season.

Enjoy the Harvest!

I am including a link to my Growing an Essay piece here. I find the connections and similarities between gardening and writing interesting.

Summer Herb & Veggie Harvest

Just a few quick photos of the summer harvest from mid July. The organic raised beds are growing & producing nicely, & I’ve only picked off three tomato hornworms-minimal damage!

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Lavandula angustifolia
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Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Lemon Balm
Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Lemon Balm

I will post more details about the garden later. I also have a post in the works about the beautiful gardens at President Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage, which is located in Nashville, TN. I was fortunate to go view the gardens there a few weeks ago.

Seed Starting 2016!!!

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Start with mini greenhouse, peat pellets, and water …

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Wait a day or two before planting for the pods to lose a little moisture (leave the top off for evaporation). Agitate the soil, and bust open the tops of the pods. This gives the seeds more room, and looser growing medium.

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Plant veggie and herb seeds! Or flowers, if you like. I started this batch of seeds in mid-to-late February. Most of them were leftover from last year. Some I harvested from last year’s plants-like the green beans. I also bought more seeds (& a couple tomato plants I couldn’t resist) from Cofer’s Home and Garden Showplace- my favorite garden center ever. More about that later.

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I also started a second round of seeds a few weeks later. Some are the same as the first batch-like greens beans and tomatoes. I am experimenting with staggered planting times, so I can harvest throughout the long growing season here in Georgia.

Below are pics of the second round of seeds I planted.

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They are just getting started in these pics from mid March. Many of the plants are now in the raised garden bed. *Fingers crossed for no late frost.* My next post will be about the repair, filling, and planting of my raised herb & veggie garden bed. The project was completed a few weeks ago with help from my sweet husband, and my friend Peggy, who was in town for a visit to Gibbs Gardens! I will also post some great pics of the Daffodil Festival at Gibbs in the next week or so.

Raised Garden Bed!

Finally, I have a simple, organic garden bed for veggies and herbs. I am late planting and posting mostly due to enormous amounts of rain. It was to originally be 3 ft. x 8 ft., but I easily modified it to 3 ft. x 4.5 ft. Next year, I will go full size. I started with untreated lumber and simple wood stakes. I filled 1/3 with my native clay soil and some leaf mulch.

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I added 1/3 Organic mulch as conditioner and 1/3 Mushroom compost to complete the mix.

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Lots of shovel turning and sore arms later and I get well-drained, dark, rich soil for edible plants.

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This bed contains: Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender, Sweet & Lemon-Lime Basil, Catnip, Thyme, Oregano, Dill, Cucumbers, Peppers, & Tomato– Early Girl, Yellow Pear, and Roma varieties. I grew most of the plants from seed, but picked up a few plants like Dill and Cucumber when mine died from too much rain.  I hope this small garden will produce enough to make a few jars of homemade canned goods. I planted the bed about a month ago and everything is filling in nicely. Will post updated pics soon.