Monday, October 15, 2012

Dianne Shows us How - Part I

Gardening in pots
On a recent Saturday, Dianne gathered a group of friends and neighbors to demonstrate how she constructs a raised bed and how she starts and nurtures her garden. Today's post will show how to build the bed itself.  Later this week we'll cover planting and caring for the plants.  

Hi everyone, it was a great time today. I'm still thinking of things I should have said, but I guess everything I've been learning for the past almost 2 years can't all be passed on in 2 hours!!

Here is a link to the raised bed instructions.  I appreciate everyone's help with my new one!  Suzanne photographed us as we went about putting it together.  

An overview

Placing cardboard beneath the frame

Cardboard complete

Layering bagged topsoil, shredded leaves, shredded newspaper

Always end with topsoil

Cover with bird netting to keep squirrels from burying nuts which they will later come to dig up!

Just keep adding layers throughout the fall and winter.  As the materials decompose, the level in the bed will sink and you'll have plenty of room.  I also threw in some alfalfa pellets, but that's not really necessary.  By early next spring you'll be ready to plant!

But if  you want to start gardening this fall, start with just some pots.  I use this recipe for my potting soil:

        2 parts soil conditioner
        1 part builders' sand (I'm going to use less next time)
        1 part Perlite
        1 part Black Kow

Go ahead and try some lettuce. Cover it over when you are going to get some damaging frost, but you can just keep cutting and it will grow back. Don't have to worry about bugs or disease in the cool weather. Go ahead and plant some cilantro. It should go all winter--die back when it gets real cold, but then spring back when the weather warms a little. It will go to seed around May or June, and then come back in the fall if seeds are allowed to germinate where they drop. Don't forget the garlic. Put it in your flowerbed if you have some space. It doesn't take a lot of room. The problem is where to get lettuce and cilantro seeds this time of year. You might try the seed stores or places like Stewart's or Germantown Hardware. Whole Foods usually has seeds all the time, although it tends to get picked over by this time. Also mail order, but that gets kind of costly for just a pack or two with shipping and all. The two seed stores in Collierville are Russell's and Hall's. Check them out. It's fun just wandering around and looking at the stuff.

Prolific peppers
I have my trusted web sites.  Cornell has a lot of good info, and the UT site may not have as much, but is specific to this region.  Use the search boxes on these links for topics of interest, or just search for 'vegetables.'  Weekend Gardener is one I just found, and has a lot of good info. Gardening is all over the Internet. Check out some You Tube videos that show you how to do almost anything. You can kind of tell the people who know what they are doing…but there is also some not so good info out there.  When in doubt, consult a university source.

And, don't forget the Memphis Area Master Gardeners website…Like MAMG on Facebook too.

Remember, start small and keep it manageable.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated and will appear as soon as they are approved.