Friday, June 3, 2011

MORE CREATIVE GARDENING IN THE CITY WITH RAISED BEDS

One of the things I've mentioned before is that I have to be creative when it comes to gardening in the city.  We literally have one spot of "dirt" in the back yard (the rest is a pool and concrete).  So a couple of years ago, I decided to try my hand at raised bed / square foot gardening.  I thought that today I would share the pictures of  how I did it.

This is the area I had to work with, an oddly shaped space where an old tree used to be and some bushes.  The tree has been gone for years and the bushes were OK but I wanted the space to be more productive.  As you can see, after I got everything removed, it was just a barren patch of dirt. 



Because of the old tree, there were large roots under that dirt, as well as some pool pipes, so planting directly in the ground wasn't an option. I built three raised beds in an afternoon. I measured them to work with the square foot gardening plan and put them in spots where they would be level.
I put posts on each corner and then wrapped bird netting around it to keep stray animals out of the beds.  The plastic wasn't left in there, that was to soften up the soil and kill weeds, left that down for about a week the removed it before adding soil.
Then I filled them with dirt, put up some string for the square foot gardening method, planted my plants and put down some dark brown mulch to cover the barren ground around them.  Oh, I did put down weed block cloth before the mulch just to keep it all neat looking.
By the time this picture was taken, I had removed the border of decorative stones, and planted marigolds (companion planting!) and then put up a secondary fence around the entire thing.





Clean and neat, and growing like weeds, er, vegetables!
 

Again, this is last summer, sadly, I didn't get to planting this year because I was hoping for the farm to be closed well before planting season. With all the back and forth out there every weekend,  I just didn't get enough time to do it.  So as you can see, you just have to be creative, use the space you have, and you can make it work!  I can't wait to have a HUGE garden, and when I do, it will be just like this, raised beds.  They are so much easier to work with, but I'll write about that in a future post.  Until then, enjoy!

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