When I moved into my house there was nowhere to grow vegetables despite the house being on a 1.2 acre plot of land. The previous owners had done amazing things with the landscaping including a 60 foot stream flowing downhill to a 15x15 pond! At the same time I wanted to grow vegetables.
In my quest for growing vegetables I wanted to share a few tips:
Tip 1 - Build Higher Than Normal Raised Beds
I needed a way to grow vegetables and keep the rabbits and weeds out. I decided to build 30 inch high raised beds, I built 5 of them in a sort of grid pattern. This higher than normal raised bed means that any weeds in the ground will not grow up 30 inches and you don't have to bend down to the ground all the time.
Tip 2 - Soaker Hose
As the property already had a sprinkler system I added another zone and hooked it up to soaker hoses. I cannot rave about soaker hoses enough, you can just attach to a normal hose so no need for an irrigation system. Soaker hoses deliver the water directly to the soil which offers so many benefits. You use less water, the leaves do not get wet and you are deliver water exactly where the plants need them. Additionally, this means that with a timer you can water the plants in the middle of the night which also reduces evaporation!
Tip 4 - Pack Those Plants In
When growing in a raised bed you are growing in such a way that you can reach in from all sides (I would not have the beds any more than 4 feet wide). This means you can ignore the spacing recommended on the seed packet. When growing in a raised bed you will get little to no weeds so you don't need to leave space to weed. Additionally you don't need rows to walk down either. So just pack those vegetables in!
Tip 4 - Grow In Clumps, Don't Stick to Rows
People think you need to grow plants in rows but this does not always make sense. I grow things like green onions, radishes, carrots and many more plants in clumps. So when I am sowing the seeds I scatter them in the designated area. You will get more vegetables for the space this way.
Tip 5 - Forget Plastic Labels, Use Popsicle Sticks!
Don't get wooed by the expensive plastic plant labels which, if you use a marker, means you can use them one time. Also if you use a pencil who wants to erase a pencil mark from a label? I buy a big box of wooden popsicle sticks and use those. Additionally, once you are done using them just put them in your green waste bin!
FINALLY the sun is out in Seattle so I am taking this chance to get outside for an hour and plant some more seeds.
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