Square Foot Gardening – Raised Bed Preparation

As I mentioned previously, we’re giving Square Foot Gardening a try this year.  Our seedlings are well on their way, and now we’re working on preparing the raised beds.  We have some existing raised beds in our garden area built by the previous owners of our property.  But in order to grow everything we want to, we needed to add one more raised bed this year for the potatoes, carrots and parsnips that need a deeper space.  My husband built one out of scrap wood we already had and wooden stakes.  It might not be pretty, but it’s free!

Now what to fill it with?  SFG recommends “Mel’s Mix”, which is a combination of equal parts of compost, peat moss and vermiculite.  You can see our compost dumped in the raised bed in the photo above.  That’s from two compost piles that have been decomposing for a year (one of them even older).  We’ll mix that with peat moss, and then we’ll be ready to plant.  Why skip the vermiculite?  Its purpose is to lighten the soil and hold moisture.  Peat moss does the very same thing.  And since vermiculite is pretty expensive at our local garden store, we’ve decided to skip it.

Once we add the peat moss, our next step in preparing our raised beds is to mark off the square feet.  I’ve bought twine that I’m going to use to do that later this week.  Then it’s time to plant cabbage, lettuce, onions and spinach!  I can’t wait!

A quick garden update: We’ve already planted our peas (along that fencing behind the raised bed).  The tilled area behind it will have pole beans and melons, growing on similar fencing, and to the right will be sweet corn and popcorn with winter squash planted among the rows.  Although we’re growing everything else in SFG raised beds, we decided to still plant the big space-takers in the ground.  And lastly, I just cut our first asparagus!  So excited to see what truly fresh asparagus tastes like tonight!

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