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Monday, 10 October 2016

Raised Bed Gardening

Did anyone try the homemade mayonnaise, from last week? Please let me know how it turns out if you do!

Today, we going to look a little at our raised bed garden.

Raised beds work well as you save on :
1) SPACE - the beds can be as big or small as you want them to be, even boxes count as raised beds
2) WATER - no precious water is wasted on pathways; you only water your beds
3) COMPOST - you don't spread your expensive compost or manure over a large area
4) TIME - best of all, because you are packing a lot of veggie growth into a small area, you spend very little time weeding!

Here you can see three of my raised beds.(as well as my unsightly compost bin! more about that in another post)

I began the back one first and then the middle one a few weeks later, and the front one only 2 weeks ago.

You can use whatever you have for your raised beds.  I know mine are unsightly, but they were free to make and provide us with a fresh salad almost every day of the week!

This is a closer look at my first bed.  This gives an idea of what the square foot garden is about. Instead of planting in long rows you divide your bed into blocks, each about a square foot.  For those of us in Namibia/South Africa - that's about the size of our old school ruler, squared.

Then, in each square you plant a different veggie.  I like this method because I can see immediately what's coming up, or what hasn't come up.  Then I can reseed as needed.

In this bed I have different 'blocks' growing, of carrot, baby spinach, radishes, parsley, kale, beetroot, Swiss chard, kale again.

When I plant the seeds, I draw a picture of the bed and note down where each seed is planted.  Once the seedlings start emerging it's easy to spot the weeds, because I know exactly what I planted, and where.

This site has a lot of info on raised, square foot gardening.  You will also find how many seeds of each type to plant in each square foot.  This method calls for much smaller space between each plant, so you get maximum use from your small bed.

Having just returned from visiting our friends in Windhoek, who have the most lovely vegetable garden, I can't emphasize enough that what is needed for a good veggie garden (besides enough water, of course) is COMPOST!

Try it this week - make a bed for your garden, buy a bag of compost to add to your soil, get a head start by buying seedlings from your local nursery and let me know how it goes.

In a few weeks you could be eating your own salad!