Sunday, August 12, 2012

Making Garden Beds

Each bed was made level so that when filled with water it won't all go to one end and leave the other end dry. I have built uneven beds before and the plants at one end thrive and the other end are short and stubby from a want of water.  Notice the dish rag secured with a rubber band to the end of the hose. This breaks up the force of the water so it doesn't dig a hole in the bed but comes out gently.
The soil was tilled and disked with a tractor before we began shaping the beds. Peat Moss, sawdust and sheep manure were added in with the tilling. I actually would have preferred to keep the sheep manure out of it because of the introduction of weed seeds and possible disease. From what I have been learning from the Mittleider Method, humus is good but not necessary for growing food. With the minerals and micronutrients I will be adding back into the soil, manure is not needed.

Each bed was measured carefully for aesthetic appeal and workability.  Between each bed is the recommended 3.5 feet and each bed is 18 inches wide and 30 feet long.  The soil is leveled along the length of the bed and then ridges are made along the length that are 4 inches above the flat center of the bed.  This will keep the water from spilling out. These beds were made using only a rake.
In this photo you can see two lines going down the inside of some of the beds. These lines are where I planted seeds and would then cover them with course sand for good germination. Before I planted the seeds I mixed into the soil a pre-plant mineral combination and a weekly feed that will help with germination.  I eventually will have a watering system that will make this garden so much easier and better, but for now I am just flooding each bed. It takes just a few minutes per bed because they are level.  This soil is heavy with clay and is proving to be difficult to work with but part of this Mittleider method I am following is being able to grow in any soil.  My garden in Cheyenne was a mixture of sand and peat moss with no soil but because of the micronutrients I am adding, the garden has flourished.  
You can find out more about this Mittleider method at www.growfood.com . If you are going to buy any books though, be sure and get them through my affiliate link at www.inthegardenofeatin.com so I can get some credit! :)

3 comments:

  1. Just incredible, I'm amazed at the things you do!

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  2. I had parents who taught me well.

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