Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Graves VS Beds of Life

I’ve learned that ‘raised bed’ gardening has many advantages. The temperature is higher because the sun can warm a larger surface area and the plants like this. The amount of water that is needed to grow the crops can be regulated, thus decreasing wasteful consumption of this resource. I’m not sure, but I think that the soil stays a bit ‘looser’ and this allows the roots to grow deeper more quickly.

First I dig the garden area in long rows. I’ll take a couple of shovel-fulls of my compost and spread it into each row, before digging the next row. Then, I use the garden rake to start pulling the dirt into rectangular beds. Where I rake the dirt from, now becomes the pathway between the beds. Very simple and easy to do.

I love the look of a raised bed garden. Often, I’ll hear comments about how they look like graves, but I’ve never looked at it that way. I’ve always thought of them as beds of life. After all, the food that I eat will come from them and that will keep me alive – LOL!

If I happen to have a small pile of branches and dried vines hanging around, I’ll have a fire on top of these beds. The nitrogen from the ash is very healthy for the soil and I’ll dig this into the bed before I plant. This whole process disposes of so much ‘green’ waste and creates a very profitable product… my lunch! Someday, all economics will be based on energy cycles such as this one… when we realize that money can never make the world go ‘round or feed the poor.

When it’s time to plant, I’ll pull the soil from the middle of the bed to create a small wall around the outside of the bed. Then I plant…! I’ll water the entire bed, once I’ve planted – the water helps glue the wall to the side of the bed and the wall keeps the water from flowing away from the plants. Now, whenever I water the veggies, the water will stay concentrated in one area. In the photo above, I only planted a small area of the bed. This is garlic that I took from my mom’s garden, last weekend. I’ll be planting carrots in the rest of this area and I’ll finish building my walls at that time.

I’m really enjoying the work that I’m putting into this year’s garden. The garden is twice as big as last year’s and I’ve more than tripled the amount of flowers surrounding this area. I’ve also really enjoyed taking all these photos and writing these blogs, to share my mistakes and lessons with people from around the world.

Happy Gardening Everyone!!!!


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