Raising beds

As the forecast has been calling for rain and the weather cooled back to normal April temps (too cold to paint), Dan and I abandoned our plan to replace some siding on the house so instead we have been — you guessed it –gardening.

Today we continued our efforts, begun last year, to convert the vegetable garden into primarily raised beds.  Today we worked on the center row.  Again we used some of the alders we have growing in our back 40′ to edge the beds.  The difference this year, though, is we have our wonderful little Honda mini-tiller to make the work so much easier!  No gardener’s elbow this summer, the tiller allowed us to fairly easily loosed the soil in the paths and incorporate that into the beds.

I then fertilized and raked smooth the soil.  This summer, I am experimenting with IRT plastic mulch after hearing one of the speakers rave about it in my Master Gardening class. Dan helped me lay the mulch out and get it securely buried on the edges, a very fiddly job.  Tomorrow, if the rains hold off, I will transplant my brassica seedlings and cover securely with floating row cover to keep out the evil cabbage worms, only this year, to deter slugs, I will keep the row cover well above the plants and liberally sprinkle organic slug bait about.


8 Responses to “Raising beds”

  1. GrafixMuse Says:

    I used solar mulch for the first time last year and it has changed gardening for me. Weeds and crab grass always ended up taking over the garden before. It was so difficult for me to keep up with the weeding and my yields suffered as a result. I saw a huge improvements last year when I used solar mulch.

    It iS rather “fiddly” to secure the edges really well. Last year I buried the edges in soil and used some 2×4’s and a few smallish trees trimmed from the edge of our yard to help secure the seams. They worked out well.

    This year I will be sure to lay a soaker hose under the solar mulch.

    • Ali Says:

      That is great to hear as using it was a bit frustrating! I am hoping I can use thos spike waterers that connect to 2 liter soda bottles for watering. In my MG class they rave about drip irrigation, but I’m not ready to go there just yet. I will be watching your blog closely this summer!

      • GrafixMuse Says:

        Oh I remember how frustrating it was to secure the solar mulch. I am not looking forward to laying this year either but I’ll know to dig a narrow trench around the garden before laying it out. That way I can tuck the ends in more easily.

        I also used the 2 liter spike waterers for my melons. They do get clogged every now and then, but for the most part worked well getting water down to the roots.

  2. Sylvana Says:

    I like your hoop/greenhouse. I want to make one like it to fit over two of my raised beds so that I can garden later and earlier.

  3. Ali Says:

    Sylvana check out our hoop house construction post here https://henbogle.wordpress.com/homemade-pvc-hoophouse-construction/

    We also use small hoops here: https://henbogle.wordpress.com/2006/05/15/the-blueberry-hedge/ made with pvc pipe and rebar. They worked great!

  4. jeannie Says:

    The garden looks Great so far guys. I hope you get a bumper crop this year!!

  5. Laurie Meunier Graves Says:

    It is slug central at our little house in the big woods. Beer in bowls just seems to encourage slugs to take a drink before they chew through the hostas. Could you tell me a bit about the organic slug bait? Also, what a nifty mini-tiller!

    • Ali Says:

      Hi Laurie,
      Yep, the slugs love us here at Henbogle, too. There are a couple of brands, Sluggo, Escar-go! (Gardens Alive), Garden Safe Snail & Slug Bait. All of them are basically some sort of attractant and iron phosphate, are non-toxic (at least to mammals) and pet safe. They are kind of expensive, but seem to work pretty well, although you need to reapply after it rains. Huh. I prolly should have sprinkled it around under the IRT mulch, rats! Wish I’d thought of that yesterday :-/

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