My 1st raised vegetable garden.

chuckmaninohioApril 26, 2014

So I created a 8' x 8' raised vegetable garden. I used a good mixture of composted top soil, manure, and a couple large bags of Miracle Grow raised bed mixture, and tilled it all together with my existing soil underneath the bed. I have not got the soil tested yet, but by the looks of it I think I am in good shape. It is a very rich dark color, and seems to drain really well during rain showers. I have not planted anything yet, and don't plan to due so until late May. I started 2 (72ct) seedling trays in late November, but lost them all, because I forgot to bring them inside one night, and the temperature dropped well below freezing. I have since restarted my seeds, and they should be ready for transplanting by the end of May. Anyways, I guess I am just looking for any tips or tricks some of you may know with the raised beds. Not real sure about vertical growing to save space, since I am limited. I do plan on using a trellis system for my cucumbers, and peppers, but I am not sure if I can get anything else to grow vertically besides them, and obviously the tomatoes. I do appreciate any advice you all are will to share with me.

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Shaded from 3 sides with a hint of tree shade.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:16AM
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The garden will get 8 hours of direct sunlight during peak growing time (Late May-August).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:20AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Did you till all of the other stuff into your native soil or just layer it on top? I'm hoping the latter.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:26AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Your bed looks great! Consider you may have a little trouble reaching plants in the center, unless you plan on walking through it. To save space, I would plant larger, trailing type plants such as squash on the outside perimeter to allow them to trail onto the grass outside your bed instead of over the precious planting space. Put all trellised items on the north end so they don't shade the smaller plants. Don't know what kind of peppers need to be trellised. The ones I've grown have all been bush types. Instead of trellising cucumbers, you could plant those on the edge and allow them to trail along the grass also. You seem to have ample space on the perimeters. Depending on where I'm growing my cucumbers, sometimes I trellis them, sometimes I let them trail.

What exactly are you planning on planting?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:28AM
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I tilled the existing ground before I put my new soil mixture on top, not together.

As for what I plan on planting here we go, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Cubanelle Peppers, Brussels Sprouts, some Leaf Lettuce, Carrots, and Peas.

My concern about letting my cucumbers grow on the ground is due to bad luck with discoloration, and rotting in the past, and that's why I wanted to try vertical growing for them.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:33AM
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Also, thanks for the tip on trellising on the North end. I would not have thought about that. And yes, I do plan on leaving a small walkway through the middle for access to everything in there. I hate the idea of giving up that valuable space, but it's the area I had to work with.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:35AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Yes, for trellising, you'll only have 8' along the north end. Everything else should be planted in front of it. That is going to be about 3 tomato plants and 2 cucumbers.

Note that some of what you're planting are cool weather, others warm weather. Brussel Sprouts, peas and Lettuce are typically cool season plants (spring or fall). You would not plant them the same season as your tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers which are warm season (summer).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Okay, so I will plan on getting my Brussels Sprouts, Peas, and Lettuces in the ground very soon. They are all about 3-4" tall now, and I feel they are ready for transplanting, but I just concerned about cold weather. I don't want to kill them all again.

I will just keep the peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers in their pots until June.

I think I will have to utilize some 5 gallon buckets for some of the bigger plants just to save space.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:56AM
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When you leave that path in the middle in the bed, make it raised as well - place nice thick board as a bridge across your bed, you may put a brick or two under it in the middle to prevent bending. This way you are not going to compact the soil, while you walking and plants will use this space as normal growing space for there roots.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 2:31PM
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one trick my husband uses is as he plants each plant he takes fish and cuts them up into little chunks and plants them with his vegetable plants. I know it sounds crazy but it works. All my neighbours and friends ask him what does he do to get his plants so big. plus after the plants roots get established we use coffee grinds and eggs shells which really helps them thrive

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 4:56PM
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My dad did all of that in his gardens while I was growing up, and always had the most beautiful veggies, and oh so juicy. Thanks for the reminder Autum :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:12PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

And that would be composting????

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:06PM
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yes nancyjane it is a form of composting. Some use manure for it too. Your welcome chuckmaninohio glad to bring back good memories

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Next time skip the miracle gro - personal opinion - its not very natural. Your bed is too wide, two 4x8 side by side would have been better but maybe you can put a wide board down the center as a pathway? the whole point of raised beds is not to step on the soil which compresses it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:56PM
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I know those connectors you're using. Next year, separate the beds into 2 4x8s and you won't lose the space to a path.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Yeah it would have made a ton more sense to separate them into 2 different units. I wish I would have thought about that.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:40PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

Separating them is a great idea, but keeping the garden a few feet away from the house and out of the way of the drip line of your roof as you have it now is also a good idea.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:07PM
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