Fall Gardening and Raised bed tutorial

By on 25 September, 2013 in DIY, Gardening, Outdoors, Sarah Churchman with 0 Comments

It’s officially fall now and the weather has turned cooler.  My tomatoes gave up the ghost a long time ago, but my peppers are probably doing the best they’ve done all year.  That summer heat was just a killer!

Once I had pulled up my tomatoes, I realized my little bed needed some work especially if I was going to plant a fall garden.  In my research, I found out that a lot of fall vegetables are root veggies and need good, deep soil in which to grow.

So I could do the backbreaking labor of digging my existing garden deeper or buy some retaining wall stones and make a raised bed.  The decision was not a hard one.

I measured the garden space and figured out how many bricks I would need and approximated the amount of garden soil needed to backfill the new bed.  Once I returned from the store, the real work started.

Now I know the Internet is chocked full of wooded raised bed tutorials, but that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Wood requires carpentry skills and tools and such.  Bricks do not.  Plus bricks don’t rot.

I dug out a narrow path for the bricks along the front edge so they would lay flat and even.  Feel free to use a level during this stage, but I wasn’t up for being that precise.  You just want to make sure your wall is flat so the stones lie correctly.

Once you have the first layer down, you want to make sure to put your second layer down so that the seems of the first are in the middle of the bricks of the second layer.  This makes it more structurally sound.

Once your little wall is built, double check the straightness and levelness of it and then begin to back fill it with garden soil.  Don’t use topsoil b/c it doesn’t have any real nutrients in it.  You want your veggies to get a good start!  I used Miracle Grow garden soil and mixed that with mushroom compost.

The bed will need to sit a week before you plant. During this fallow time, I made sure to water it and back fill any settling that may have occurred.

My radishes, carrots and broccoli have all sprouted!  Also you may have noticed my peppers still in the bed, but not backfilled.  Well, I figured I would let them produce for as long as they could.  Once the first frost hits, I’ll pull them up and consider planting some more vegetables, but I haven’t gotten that far yet!

Sarah Churchman is a full-time web designer+developer, a Board Member for AAF-Montgomery and Montgomery Trees, a cook, gardener, and somewhere in there fits in time to be a DIY’er.  She also is a huge Rush fan and lives in the Garden District.  You can find her on Google+ , Pinterest and occasionally on her food blog, Water Chestnuts Are Gross.

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