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.
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.
The Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, and Oregano survived the winter!
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
Start with mini greenhouse, peat pellets, and water …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I added 1/3 Organic mulch as conditioner and 1/3 Mushroom compost to complete the mix.
Lots of shovel turning and sore arms later and I get well-drained, dark, rich soil for edible plants.
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.