Raised Beds

Daily writing prompt
What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?

I am altering my style of gardening. 

Last fall, cleaning out the garden beds, I finally admitted to myself that working on my hands and knees didn’t give the stimulating pleasure that it had. Who am I kidding? It never did. This spring, I began to do something about it by adding several raised cedar beds. At about thirty-some-odd inches tall, no bending or kneeling is required. And kneeling truly is the issue.

The photo is from the spring of the first unit I put together and planted with various herbs. Weeding, cultivating, and harvesting are easy, and I believe that just on that score, I have received a full measure of return on investment already.

I’ve since added two more units and started my late-season sugar peas and spinach in them. With the success of the initial units, I’ve begun to think about what to do with the large main vegetable beds or weed havens. I don’t believe there will be enough soil in the units I’ve bought for crops like squash, pumpkin, or tomatoes. So I’ve been online researching larger metal raised beds of about thirty-two inches in height and between two to three feet wide. Once again, I am thinking about ease of weeding and cultivation.

Beyond no kneeling, however, are concerns with water conservation. I’ve spent years developing the garden soil and should reasonably expect to reuse the soil within the raised beds. I’ve worked diligently on composting, amending the soil for fertility and ability to retain moisture. During dry years, I do not have to water excessively. Watering specific containers and raised beds is more economical than broadcast hose watering. With the new raised beds, I expect to improve water conservation further.

Do I hear sniggers from the non-gardeners? Save your titters, boffolas, chortles, cackles, and belly laughs for when produce prices at the store continue to rise higher and higher.

There is little as lovely as freshly picked snow peas from the garden. And the price is right.

16 Replies to “Raised Beds”

  1. I love nothing better than for my neighbor to text me “come by the fence. I have some basil, rosemary and tomatoes for you.” So much better than store bought.

  2. I love my summer garden. It’s great to just go out there and get some zucchini or beans. Sometimes I grow more stuff, but the growing season is short.

    1. I extend mine by using cold frames and remay fabric to cover things. I can get a “third season” by growing spring crops in the late summer and early fall. but, of course, your going seasons are different than mine.

  3. wow! Those look fantastic! I miss gardening so much… one day I plan on having one again and I am going to fill it with all the differing summer squash and snow peas and melons… mmmmmmmmm

      1. I only thought of it because I used to use cedar shavings around my home to keep the fleas out… perhaps this is an old wives tale… very possible…

  4. WOW! I miss gardening! I am back in my hometown for a bit and trying to grow basil, oregano, parsley- basil only 2 inch plants came and never grew back 🙁
    Oregano- none, one grew but dies due to overwatering maybe
    Parsley- it sprouted like 14 days later but right now the only one alive,,
    When do I shift it to the pot?? I am so confused., Please help me Louis!! <3

      1. Not knowing specifics, like where you are. It’s hard to offer advice. If you are in North America, unless in growing zones down south, it may be too late to start some of the things you mention. My fall crops are things like spinach and sugar snap peas. The basil I recently transplanted were extras left over from the spring which I gambled with.
        One bit of advice that I think is useful to the starting gardner is to be cautious with what seeding medium you start your seeds in. Like a lot of gardeners I use a commercial seed starting medium that has been sterilized. That last bit about sterilization is important. Soil from the garden can have microorganisms or pests that can damage seeds and seedlings. That is the simplest place to look for trouble, and the easiest to solve. Beyond that look to how much or how often you water: not too much and not too little. It’s a knack you develop with experience.

      2. I live in the tropics so maybe the sunlight could be a problem, I’ll try getting some commercial seeds and plant again!
        Thank you Lou <3

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