Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raised Veggie Bed

We completed my raised veggie beds on Saturday! It was cold out, but it had to be done. Last week, my husband built the frame for me. It measure 12' long by 4' wide. I also turned the soil over about 10" deep. On Friday night I picked up up the first batch of soil and then went back for more on Saturday morning as soon as the nursery was open.

Here is the finished bed. In the beds are fully mixed humus, peat moss, homemade compost and the original soil that I turned over.

I used two 3.8 cubic ft of peat moss, 20 bags of humus, and 2 wheel borrows full of my compost. My husband was a big help in pouring all the bags into the frame for me. Then he tilled it all together. It helps to do it in small batches because the tiller can only go so deep. I still had to go back and mix it through with a rake and my bare hands.

Compost from my compost pile. This is all grass clippings from the last 2-3 years. It's well decomposed now. My husband said, "Wow, it feels warm!" (Heat is generated from the decomposing process)

The tiller breaks up the grass and other growth enough that you can just smother it by burying it. Since I did it last week, it was still early enough that there wasn't much grass growth. However, if you have sod, you will have to cut it and remove it entirely because it's so thick. But I still had to go back and hand pick through the soil. Get rid of any twigs and rocks which will inhibit root growth. Bag up weeds that you pull out and throw them away entirely so they don't reseed. Remove clumps of grass (like in the picture) and plug them somewhere else. Another use for the clumps of grass is turn them upside down and line your paths with them. The fibers give you footing.

As a last minute decision, we used the leftover wood to divide out the beds. I decided I wanted 2 paths dividing up a larger center bed between two smaller beds. It just makes the bed easier to maintain and organize.

Now, I can plan what I want to plant, where and with what other companion plants. I checked the forecast and it's suppose to rain on Sunday which is perfect. I raked the beds into mounds (as opposed to raking it flat to the edge of the frame) and I'm going to wait until the rain packs it down. After it settles, I'll plant some peas.

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