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Author: admin, 22.05.2014. Category: Organic Products

Article first published as Use raised garden beds to battle deer, dirt, by Rick Bickling, in The Liberty Hill Independent. Here in Central Texas, March 15th is the proverbial “D-Day” of the gardening world, as it marks our official “Last Freeze Date.” This date was not mystically divined from a few magic tealeaves by a fortuneteller, nor have the folks in Washington proclaimed it as the law of the land.
To find the Last Freeze Date for your area, check out our handy Frost and Freeze Date Tool in the How Do Gardener Tool Shed.
The Last Freeze Date for a given area is based on historical weather data from that area, collected over a 30-year period. Two other “D” words that are usually not looked upon with the same enthusiasm around here when we talk about gardening are the ever-hungry deer, and our rock filled dirt.
One of the best ways to combat the deer, the dirt, and freezing temperatures, while optimizing your available garden space, is with the use of raised garden beds. Raised beds in various phases of being installed.Once each bed is constructed, place it in an area that receives full sun. Completed raised beds with soil, drip irrigation grid, trellis, and vegetables added.The next key technique used in Square Foot Gardening is placing a permanent 12-inch by 12-inch grid over each raised bed.
I decided to install and use a Rain Water Harvesting System, discussed in detail in a future article, to connect to my Drip Irrigation System. Many vegetables such as pole beans, peas, cantaloupe, and even tomatoes can be grown on a vertical trellis made out of one-half inch electrical conduit and nylon trellis netting.
Finally, create a structural framework to support either deer netting, or protective mesh plant fabric using two 10’ lengths of one-half inch diameter PVC pipe for each bed. My name is Steve Albert and I created Harvest to Table for the beginner and veteran gardner alike.
Easy Measurement ConverterThe Measurement Converter can help you figure out the metric equivalents for the measurements used in the recipes on this site.
My book is a veritable encyclopedia that provides simple guidance to the kitchen gardener and cook to bring fresh, inexpensive, and healthy food from your garden to your table.
This means that when water soaks into it, it will stick around for a long time before dissipating. Photo: Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different types of basil, marigolds, zinnias, garlic chives, zucchini. Once you have plants in your new raised garden bed, you'll notice an almost immediate improvement. All of these things added together makes for an ideal environment for almost any plant to grow in. Perhaps my favourite gardening book, Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting is now available as a new 2012 edition that extends the planting calendar. The Elevated Garden Beds make a lovely addition to any deck or patio and are great for growing herbs, salad greens, flowers, and small vegetables. Elevated Garden Beds can be moved around your patio, deck or yard quickly and easily unlike traditional garden beds. About UsGarden advice, tips, how-to's, recipes, product reviews, special offers, and more to help improve the quality of your garden. The actual dates that freezing temperatures occurred in that area are averaged together, and statistical probabilities of a freeze occurring are then assigned to every day of the year.
Rather than trying to dig down into the existing soil, raised beds allow you to garden on top of our rocky soil by adding your own soil mixture into a bed placed on top of the ground. The answer lies in a technique called “Square Foot Gardening” developed by Mel Bartholomew. Rather than trying to weed, till, and amend the existing soil in your yard, you will make our own custom mixture.

A garden hose from an outdoor faucet will work just fine but be sure to install a Pressure Regulator.
Just stick one end of the PVC pipe in the soil on the inside corner of a raised bed, arch the pipe over top of the bed diagonally, and stick the other end of the pipe in the soil on the opposite side of the bed.
A great way to battle the deer, the dirt, and late spring freezes, while growing a lot in a small space. We’d love to see any more pictures you have of your SFG as it progresses through the season – I know Mel would for sure. The goal here is to find easy solutions to common garden problems and to help you bring great food from your garden to your table. Another issue for many people is spending many hours bending down to tend their vegetable garden. If the 2nd hole full of water isn't gone in 10 hours, your soil has a low saturation point. Handcrafted in the USA and made of 100% Western Red Cedar these garden planters offer tool-free assembly so you can be gardening in minutes instead of hours. In addition the ergonomically designed Elevated Garden Bed eliminates back breaking gardening, which makes gardening easy and more accessible for all ages.
If your yard has soil or drainage issues then an elevated garden bed is a great choice allowing you to create a fertile, well-drained bed. For us, March 15th is the date that there is only a 10 percent chance of a freeze occurring. If you spend enough time with a pick axe, hacking away at the ground, are able to remove all of the rocks, and can actually find enough soil to plant a garden in, the deer will probably eat everything if a late season freeze doesn’t kill it all first. I construct each one out of a single 16-foot long by 6-inch wide composite decking plank (around $29) cut into four equal length pieces and screwed together at each corner. This technique allows you to grow your garden in only 20% of the space typically needed for a traditional row garden. This mixture, called “Mel’s mix,” consists of one-third coarse vermiculite, one-third peat moss, and one-third compost.
Try to use several different types of compost to make up the compost portion of your soil mix. For example, in any given square, you could plant 1 tomato plant, 9 green bean plants, or 16 carrots. The nylon trellis netting can also be found at your local home improvement store or garden center. Repeat this step with another PVC pipe, arched diagonally between the other two corners of the raised bed and tie them together where they cross at the top. Raised beds do cost more up front but, once installed, will more than pay for themselves by increasing your crop yields for years to come. Just stick one end of the PVC pipe in the soil inside a raised bed, arch it diagonally over the bed and stick the other end into the soil inside the opposite corner of the raised bed.
I’ll be sure to keep you and Mel updated with more pictures as the season progresses. Elevated beds are also low-maintenance, the cedar will weather beautifully and never needs to be stained or painted. Remember, although statistically accurate, you are really just playing the odds with this date. Once your bed layout is determined, remove any existing grass within each bed, and level each one. Different compost brands are derived from different sources such as chicken waste or cow waste.

You can use strips of wood or string to make these grids but I chose to install drip irrigation lines to use as both my grid and to optimize the watering of the beds. Now deer netting can be draped over the top of this structure and anchored to the ground just outside each raised bed with stakes, a few old bricks, or some scrap lumber.
Right now I’m putting about 15 SFG raised beds on what once was an outdoor basketball court. In Patch from Scratch, Peter Cundall shows you step-by-step how to start a vegetable garden, beginning with an ordinary suburban lawn. Almost all of the book (all of it except for about 5-10 pages) is about food plants rather than flowers or other ornamentals. Elevated beds confine soil, dead leaves and other debris and also keep plantings out of reach of burrowing pest such as rabbits, moles, and groundhogs. Before planting you should ALWAYS check your local weather to see if a freeze is in the forecast. If you want to save a little money up front, you can use plain untreated 2-inch by 6-inch lumber, knowing that it will rot and need to be replaced in about five years.
Now staple a piece of weed blocker fabric to the bottom of each bed and place the beds in their final positions. Once you have your components, lay a tarp on the ground near your raised beds, dump your ingredients on it and mix thoroughly.
If cold weather threatens, replace the deer netting with row cover fabric to protect the plants from frost or freeze damage.
Tie the two pieces together at the top where they cross, and you now have a sturdy support structure that you can drape deer netting over the top of. He goes through each season (some of then broken into early and late) for 18 months, describing everything in amazing detail.
The back cover states that it is the accepted major work on the subject of growing and cultivating plants in Australia and New Zealand using natural methods.
By planting with a grid system you can conserve water, minimize weeding, maximize harvest in smaller space that conventional gardens.
You can always paint only the outside surfaces of the completed untreated lumber beds to add a little color to your garden. You do not have to waste anymore, a good and fertile soil, making different paths and walkways.Not only that.
There is so much information in this video you could watch it 100 times and still learn more.
The only real criticism of it I can think of is that it is so densely packed with information, your brain gets saturated after 10 or 15 minutes. The great advantage of planting in the raised beds is that you can choose the quality of your soil. That will keep away other animals and birds.PortabilityAt a first glance, this advantage is ridiculous but in reality, it is not. You can easily inspect, water or pick your produce.AdaptabilityRaised bed gardening is the ideal gardening way for older or disabled people, but who love gardening. You need only to place your garden beds on a tabletop at the height that suits you.FrugalityYou can plant only the necessary amount of seeds. You can save money storing the extra seeds.Longer Growing SeasonAny gardener knows that the plant-growing season depends on the soil temperature.

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