Building Raised Garden Beds
Raised bed gardens can be constructed for most home owner’s needs, but they only have a few limitations and options: location (not under trees), foundation, irrigation, and seasonal or year round. One of the most important considerations is the location. My preference is a sunny location facing east to west. What you use to build your raised bed is also a great concern. I have used masonry block, cedar, railroad cross ties, and small bricks. The easiest has been 8x8x16 Mason block. The size depends on what you want to grow in your raised bed garden. I can build sub soil irrigation in your bed. If you prefer to grow all year, I can build a heated raised garden bed.
Building High, Low Tunnels
The building of coverings is a wonderful way to increase your ability to grow higher quality produce. The use of these items can create an insect barrier and provide thermo heating for your winter months of cold weather. I had 3000 square feet under low tunnels this past winter, which enabled me to harvest in January and February. I will be adding 12 feet wide, 7 feet high tunnels this fall to extend my season to all year. It is also a great way to add shading to your delicate lettuces from the hot sun of summer.
Soil Preparation and Testing
This is the number one cause of garden failure I have consulted on. It will pay you back a hundred fold not to skip this step and do your homework!!! I consider myself a soil scientist when it comes to understanding this area of concern. I have made my own soils for the last 10 years and can tell you, it is never the same. You have to be prepared to make small changes to allow for optimum growth. I can send your soil off to the local soil testing facility, and then amend your soil so as to grow, grow, grow. I have five different types of soil amendments to enhance your garden experience: leaf mold, worm cast, composted horse manure, sand, and homemade fish emulsion.
For a small fee, I will provide consulting on a ”let’s-see-how-we-can-make-things-better” basis to help you have a more predictable outcome. Also, I give lectures and provide guided tours of my current operation.