For more recipes and great ways to handle the harvest, browse our library of harvest-keeping articles.
We purchased our raised bed planters last year and this is the second year growing food in them.
After taking two years off from vegetable gardening (I had moved and could only plant a few containers on my porch), I was itching to get back into it. Gardener’s Supply employee-owner Leah Corpieri works in the Milton, VT, distribution center.
As we tuck our raised bed vegetable gardens in for the long winter, we’ve had to consider some ways to protect and improve our soil.
Buckwheat is a popular summer cover crop, which quickly adds nutrients back into the soil before planting for fall. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to cover crop your beds, they will still benefit from being tucked in for winter. Grown from a single seedling, this pie-pumpkin vine has engulfed a trellis and spread through the surrounding beds. In two of our test garden beds, I’m using All-Purpose Organic Fertilizer with worm castings (Worm Power Fertilizer). Castings, or vermicompost, are created when worms ingest organic matter, break it down into plant nutrients, and leave behind their manure, which improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. Here in Vermont, the past couple summers have been unusually wet, so overwatering has been a bigger challenge than drought. The planter holds a whopping 160 quarts of soil (we filled it with our Container Mix), so there should be plenty of room for healthy root growth. Little potted herbs are usually available well into the summer, so this is a garden you could put together at almost any time.

If you do plant up one of these Multi-Pocket Grow Bags, please let us know how it works for you — we’d love to see a photo, too. In our test gardens, we have experimented with a number of different fabric pots, and this Potato Bag gave us the best results. Because I have a severe lack of space in my vegetable bed I had not tried to grow potatoes before last summer.
His recipe calls for plum tomatoes topped with garlic, fresh parsley and thyme, but you can use any fresh herb you have on hand, or even some fresh breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. In just 14 days the melon grew from the size of a small green olive to 5 inches in diameter. In various other planters I have broccoli, Brandywine tomatoes, yellow bell peppers and Jaune Flamme tomatoes. We know that we can never leave the soil in our beds exposed to the elements, which can easily deplete nutrients. You are likely to find a selection of cover crops at your local garden center, usually sold by weight. Consider adding a protective layer of straw or shredded leaves, secured in place with row covers and Earth Staples. You can mix Worm Power into potting mix, add it to raised beds, or use it to top-dress perennials, trees and shrubs throughout the growing season. If we have a drier summer, it might have been better to locate the moisture-loving plants in the lower half of the planter and the plants that prefer drier conditions (rosemary, thyme) on the upper half.
I got 2 of your potato bags and was thrilled when I got to harvest our first Russian Fingerlings.
Yes, we get compliments on how good they look, but the main thing for me is, our veggies grow well in them.

My boyfriend has never done any gardening, so I’m getting to teach him a lot, and since he only sees it once a week, it really surprises him how much it changes. This option is a bit more work for the gardener because come spring, deep-rooted rye will need to be mowed (or string-trimmed) and then turned into the soil. However, as the photos show, worm castings add a little something extra in the form of micronutrients and beneficial organisms. If you’ll be locating it on a deck, we recommend putting a big saucer underneath it (before filling it up with soil).
Without mulching, I’d have to water a lot more often, and the plants would probably suffer. At right, you can see it on our new Squash and Cucumber Trellis (look for it in our spring lineup). The Potato Bag allows even first-time gardeners to get a good harvest — up to 13 pounds — without the need for digging or weeding.
To create compact trellising for my peas and beans, I modified the spirals with some leftover yarn from various craft projects. I have planted it around the outside of my main fenced-in area and have enclosed it with our short Border Fence.

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