Monday, June 26, 2017

A New Look With Raised Beds

You may have noticed that I have not spent much time here on the I Grow Vegetables Blog this last year. I am making major changes to the vegetable garden. I am raising up the beds and lining them with concrete block, which to some is very controversial.

I'm stacking the block two high, so these new beds will be 16" deep. I am also covering the ground, prior to placing manures, with cardboard. Some may call this a twist on the Back to Eden method. I call it good stewardship by helping my cardboard supplier keep it out of the landfill.

Once the cardboard goes down, the beds get lined with the block. Then, the manures go into the beds. It will take an entire season for the manures to break down on there own, so you can use finished compost instead. I then filled the walking paths with 12" of wood chips. Since I didn't want to loose an entire growing season, I got these new beds planted.

I am dealing with some some issues like stunted plant growth, and nutrient deficiency, but overall the garden is growing well. Prolific plantings like zucchini and cucumbers are doing great, but the tomato plants suffered until their roots reached the original soil below the manures. Bell Peppers are also thriving and producing much more than I hoped for. This season, my first year planting of "Kiowa Blackberries" produced 72 pounds of berries from 30 plants. I really look forward to next seasons berries.

I do a lot of canning of the zucchini, so I have 10 plants this year. I think I will plant 10 each season going forward.

I have also planted 6 cucumber plants, so, like every season in the past, I am canning a lot of pickles

The yellow squash grew well this season and it is hard to can up, so I dehydrated a lot of it into "chips" seasoned with garlic and onion powders.

And of coarse...the blackberries...

Although the season is not yet over, it will be soon and I look forward to finishing the rest of the beds during the fall and winter months. Although I do plan on expanding the garden, again, right now I have enough work to do, so, back to the garden!

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