My brother and sister-in- law are trying to cut the cost of buying vegetables this summer and they have plenty of space in their yard for raised beds. This is their first year with a vegetable garden and they want to get it right. The first mistake was asking me for advice. I wear glasses but it doesn’t mean I am that smart. However, I have to keep up that persona because I am still trying to impress them.
I talked to Kristi, the plant doctor, about what they need for the raised vegetable beds.
Step 1: Make your boxes. The wood needs to be treated if you want it to last for a long time. Otherwise, the pressure from moist soil and water will destroy it.
Step 2: Line the bottom with newspaper. This will keep weeds from popping up and it also decomposes.
Step 3: Build up the soil in the boxes. The bottom half with top soil.
Step 4: Fill the top half with a mix of compost and manure or peat moss
Step 5: Top dress with a quarter inch to half inch of Dairy Doo. This is a soil amendment that provides carbon, minerals and biology; you don’t need a lot. My family is planning on doing vegetables in their raised beds, so I recommend the Dairy Doo. You’ve heard the phrase, “you are what you eat” the same goes for plants. They need nutrient rich soil to be stronger and healthier too.
Step 6: WATER IT! It is so easy to go on summer vacation and forget all about your plants. Call a friend to be a pet and plant sitter before you go away. The easiest thing to do is buy a soaker hose…water seeps out of it and soaks the base of those plants right to the roots.
Step 7: Fertilizer. Some people grow vegetables because they want more organic diets. Dr. Earth, Espoma, or Ecoscraps are natural solutions to fertilize with.