Fast, easy, neat vegetable beds. Planting time is fast approaching. Enjoy fresh vegetables, help your budget (really paid attention to the price of food recently?) and help the environment. Every carrot grown in your backyard means less fuel spent trucking in from somewhere else. Here’s how:
Buy 3-8″x8′ cedar boards for each box. Cut one in half. You now have 2-8″x4′ and 2-8″x8′ boards. Nail together with 4 galvanized nails in each corner to form a rectangle that is 4’x8′. Level the box with small rocks.
Lay landscape cloth on the grass where the box will sit. Cut away the excess to fit inside the box. Layer 1″ of newspapers to smother the grass. Use papers with as little colored ink as possible–certainly omit the Sunday Comics and the brightly colored advertising circulars. The next layer is 4″ of clean, weed-free straw (seperate the straw and seeds by tossing in air and catching) or peat moss. Spread 1 cup of blood meal. Next layer is 2″ of shredded leaves mixed with a bucket or two of compost and 1 more cup of blood meal. Top all with 4-5 bags of potting mix interlaced with 3 bags of manure. 1″ of water a week helps it all meld.
If constructing more than one bed, allow the landscaping cloth to overlap between the boxes, using cedar mulch between the beds. That helps eliminate mowing the area, possibly sending flying grass and weed seeds into your garden box.
One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more.
Come fall, the principle works for bulb planting season, too. Vary the proportions of the ingredients; tweak the technique. It’s now a breeze to plant tulips and the numerous spring flowering bulbs that require a cold winter slumber to reward us with those early peaks of color.