To quote The Carpenters, “we’ll find a place where there’s room to grow”….I am sure that Burt was not writing about nor was Karen signing about gardening, but it totally fits. I added a new vegetable garden bed this weekend and I am very excited. I am trying to increase my garden so I can wean myself off of commercial food (at least from a produce perspective) and I read years ago in “How To Grow More Vegetables”, intensive gardening guru, John Jeavons, says you’ll need about 200 sq.ft. per person to grow enough vegetables and soft fruits for the growing season at intermediate yields. Along with good garden management and some good food preservation skills I should be able to do it at that amount of space. With this new garden bed, I am much closer….I now have three 4X8 composite raised beds which gives me 96 sqft. I also added a 3.5 X 8 brick made bed between my lilacs this year which gives me another 28 sqft to work with. In addition, I added another 28 square feet when I added my raspberry bramble. Add to that approximately 10 square feet of space where I grow beans and asparagus, I have a grand total now of 162 square feet of space to grow produce. I am getting closer to that magic number of 200 square feet…hopefully with a couple of changes to the garden next summer and some clever use of containers, I will get there.
This new addition came from our friends at Frame It All , although they have changed their design in the last 4 years, their product is still great! You can also order beds from our friends at Gardeners or Plow and Hearth by clicking the links to the right.
Assembly is very simple with modular brackets and drivable stakes. The composite timbers fit into the brackets and are secured with a simple screw. I cleared my river pebble walkway to make a space for the bed, assembled and secured the bed, then removed the landscape fabric from inside the bed. Next I added compost from my composter and worked that into the native soil. By removing the landscape cloth, I am allowing the native soil and the soil in the bed to mix and contact each other; this will allow a good and quick establishment of vermiculture (bugs and worms) in the bed.
Next I added a mix of composted manure, organic top soil and organic peat moss and blended to the top of the bed. After a small prayer and ritual of gratitude, I am allowing the new bed to rest for all of the fall and probably the winter as well, with either a cover crop or salt hay to be ready to accept spring plantings. I think this new bed will be home to my three sister’s plantings next year (corn, beans, squash).
I am really thrilled with the growth and expansion of my humble potager! I hope the rest of your summer is marvelous and Happy Gardening!