Raised Bed Garden

Raised Bed Garden


I built a garden this week! Finally have a place of my own with a yard and this is my first large scale attempt so I'm super excited. I have some past experience growing indoors, closets, tents all of which allow for pretty finite control of the environment. Outdoors comes with an increase in scale and decrease in control, a whole new set of problems to work on. Hopefully I don't kill everything.

I went with a raised bed design for the garden. It's essentially four 2x6 screwed together to create a box, then you fill that box with your soil of choice. The benefit behind a design like this is having complete control over the soil your plants grow in. It also improves drainage, and even helps prevent pest & weeds from entering. Preexisting soil is usually pretty terrible, this path avoids that all together and allows and easy way to get your garden the nutrients it needs.

So what's in the soil? This is one of the larger points that I'm hoping to expand my own knowledge on. In the past I've gone with organic mixes from Fox Farms. They work wonders but are way too expensive for outdoor use so I'm looking into mixing my own. So far I picked up some organic top soil from miracle grow. It's a great base but there's certainly room for improvement. I'm not really sure what I'll add yet but the factors I'm considering are things like: ph, NPK ratio, drainage, and water retention. You also need to consider the affect the plants in the garden will have one these factors.

The plants you put in a garden also present there own set of problems. You could just go willy nilly, buy whatever you like plant it wherever you like and it'll probably work out. But if you want it to thrive you need to put a little thought into it. Some plants pair well together because of how they each change the soil chemistry, others need to be sorted by height to change how the garden is shaded. Plants like squash get fat as hell and need a ton of room, plants like cucumber or pumpkin need room to crawl along the ground or a trellis to climb. Marigolds are great at the border of a garden because the smell they put off keeps animals away.

So what am I planting?:

  • Sunflower
  • marigolds
  • kale
  • red lettuce
  • pumpkin
  • strawberry
  • cucumber
  • scallions
  • peppers
  • jalapenos
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • cilantro

I already started the tomatoes and marigolds inside. You can do this with some plants but others fair better when sowed directly into the garden. Once it warms up a bit more (probably after mothers day) I plan to plant everything else.

baggers commented

This is super cool, please some photos if you get the chance. Is NPK something nitrogen related?

on Mon May 02 2016 03:24:00 GMT-0400 (EDT)

ferris commented

Off The Grid Dave ™

on Mon May 02 2016 15:53:52 GMT-0400 (EDT)

Zach Harvest commented

This is awesome! That's a lot of fresh ingredients you'll have. Can't wait to see progress updates!

on Mon May 02 2016 17:02:17 GMT-0400 (EDT)