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Jane Schwartz Gates is a professional landscaping contractor, author, artist, and public speaker. Gates and Croft Landscaping ServicesProfessional landscaping services offered in Southern California. Whether you are short on yard space or simply want a low-maintenance garden, raised vegetable bed gardens stand out. The best frames for raised vegetable gardens use non-toxic, moisture resistant woods like cedar or redwood.
April 26, 2013 By admin My friend Erin has one of the best decorated homes of all my friends. When she came to me for advice on building a garden in her backyard I knew it would be something I’d be jealous of…  She spent time trolling through Pinterest for ideas and came back to me with a badass bed design! Now that she’s done I asked her to please write a post so I could share her garden story here. In order to do away with the old and dead and invite all of the natural new energy of the spring season into our yards, first we have to always do a bit of maintenance and clean-up.
Once we chose where we wanted to place it in the backyard, we had to till the ground a bit and tear up some grass to even it out so the beds would lay flat.
We here in the hill country currently have a multitude of mosquitos, an affluence of aphids, and a plethora of pecans. Before the advent of European settlers, Native Americans widely consumed pecans and used them for trade. Pecans are native to our area which makes them hearty and able to survive even the most tempestuous arch of Texas seasons.
My gardening ambition grows with every year, increasing the pressure to maximize every inch of gardening space.
A raised garden can be filled with the ideal mix of topsoil and compost so you don’t have to deal with amending your local soil. You can even find plans for raised garden designs in books and on the internet.  Choose a design that fits into your garden.
Benefits to raised beds include soil quality, weed control and exceptional drainage—the three biggest hurdles gardeners face. Purchase solid bricks and line them as closely as possible to prevent dirt from escaping the garden bed. The optimal size is one that allows you to reach the middle of the bed from either side of the framing.
Harvest them in the spring months and then reseed them later in the summer, usually in late August for a second harvest. As Mother Nature begins shining her warmth upon us, the buds of the trees begin to break free of their dead outer shells, birds begin their morning song ever more enthusiastically, and winter shades of wet cool gray and dull brown magically transform into vibrant green grass carpets, multi-colored seas of wildflowers and bountiful farmer’s markets.

For Joe and I, spring is the time that we rev our proverbial outdoor beautification engines and get to work on bit by bit, creating our very own outdoor oasis. Our visions of pergolas and arched gated entries, floral vines covering the whole fence line, and a sea of wild floral beauty in every corner will most likely take years to grow and come to life as we envision it, but thankfully for us, the opposite is true for the vegetables we just planted. We looked at all sorts of pictures we found online of beautiful raised beds that we thought we might be able to do ourselves.
She helped with the layout and guided me on what to plant for beginners and how to feed and fertilize them with the proper mix of ingredients.
I do hope that the beautiful wet spring weather has been good to all you other gardeners out there.
While some may take issue with the excess of shells and oddly sticky film that coats anything left beneath the branches of these bountiful nut trees, at their heart they are really one of the most interesting and useful trees around. So lets show a little respect for big beautiful buddies and educate ourselves. Climbing peas and beans grow on teepees among the fruit trees and berry bushes, while squash and melons lumber along the ground shading the soil. Winter crops to be harvested in early spring, like rutabaga, will be replaced with cool weather crops like kale and chard. I'm Renee Wilkinson and this is where I've chronicled my adventures in homesteading since 2007. You can add a raised vegetable bed to an existing retaining wall, build it as an extension to your patio or construct it as a stand-alone feature. And it will make maintenance much easier, materials more controllable, and pest regulation much simpler than growing the same crops at ground level. Otherwise, be prepared to train the vines to climb vertically, as you would pole beans, to save garden space. Both require plenty of heat, making them great choices for raised beds that naturally have warmer soil. If you have room to add stakes and strings for vines to climb, Scarlet Runner beans offer stunning blooms and large quantities of green beans.
In just a few short months, if our thumbs are indeed green, we’ll be reaping the rewards of finally installing a RAISED BED ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDEN in our backyard! Pressure treated woods are NOT ideal for vegetable gardens because chemicals can leach into your foods over time. With winter comes the warmth and rain of spring, and with beauty of spring comes the summer harvest! Aside from these space-gobblers, most of our vegetables are grown in four gorgeous raised beds. It’s hard to juggle good crop rotation while cramming in enough produce to feed our family, so typically every year I make a garden plan to keep me organized. Different plants sap different nutrients from the soil, so good crop rotation will help keep the soil balanced.

We didn’t get enough tomatoes, peppers and eggplants last year, so more this time around. Leave enough room for each plant to reach their mature size, think about companion planting (planting onions in between lettuces, etc), and get those seeds started!
Draw out the size and shape of your beds on the graph paper – maybe each square equals 6″? Here you will find 1,000+posts on modern homestead projects, edible landscape design and the occasional life update. The height will also be easy to defend from pests like rabbits, gophers (by lining the bottom with hardware cloth) and even pet cats and dogs. They frequently give away worn rail ties after routine maintenance checks or rail replacements. Unless you go to the effort of lining the beds with a plastic or pool liner, cedar is the best way to go for a vegetable garden. We can’t wait to see how our garden grows, but more importantly, how planting a garden will enlighten our living space and connect us back to the earth. It may also cut down a bit on disease to move them to a new spot, in case the bad guys try to overwinter in the soil. The bush beans weren’t worth the space, since I can more efficiently grow them vertically around the garden.
Although vegetable gardening does require a lot of watering, building a raised vegetable bed will help you be water-wise by keeping your water in a contained area rather than letting it run off at the edges the way gardening on the ground will do.
A raised garden can be constructed with cement block, brick, wood, recycled broken concrete or any other material. Or create a raised vegetable garden that mimics a decorative structure like a pagoda, small pergola or a gazebo to turn your practical growing area into an ornamental a focal point. Last yr I got next to nothing out of the garden due to dry weather so thinking of adding irrigation. If you use green wood or railroad ties it is important to line the raised garden with heavy plastic sheeting or another material to make sure none of the chemical preservatives in the wood seep into the soil. They are versatile for year round harvesting, along they take time to mature, so I’m planting lots this year. Then start to tuck your smaller veggies, like carrots and beets, in where you have open spaces. Railroad ties have creosote and green wood contains arsenic, both toxins you don’t want in your vegetable garden.

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