Elevate Your Planting With Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

So what is it about raised bed vegetable gardening that’s all the rage? Well, when you think about it, there are several advantages. The first and foremost is that it’s much easier on your back. More importantly for your plants, the soil warms more quickly, it stays fluffy because you aren’t walking all over it, vegetable crops are easier to get to and there’s less area to take up weeds. Now there is one major drawback, and that is raised beds dry out more quickly. If you take some measures to arrange for drip irrigation and proper mulching, it can be made into a minimal problem. An article by Susan Mulvihill written for the Spokesman-Review highlights a recent experience between a student and her teacher.

Elevate Your Planting With Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

Talk about your fast learners. In February 2011, Ann Windham attended a class I taught on raised-bed gardening and another one on drip-irrigation systems.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Elevate your planting game with raised bed vegetable gardening techniques. Photo by Audaxl c/o Photos.Com.

A few months later, she sent me an enthusiastic email, saying she and husband Bill had “the best garden ever,” thanks to their new raised beds and the drip-irrigation system. She included several photos of their beautiful, productive vegetable garden.

For many years, I’ve been extolling the virtues of growing veggies in raised beds. I’ve been gardening in them since 1981 and am absolutely sold on them. It was gratifying to get such positive feedback from a new convert and even more gratifying to be invited to their garden to see the results firsthand.

The Windhams live in Colbert. They have a sunny backyard with a view of Mount Spokane and their raised-bed garden is certainly a focal point. They primarily deal with deer in the area so the garden is fenced.

Ann admits she’s the main gardener but is quick to say Bill has been a hardworking partner. After all, he helped with the construction of the raised beds, filled them with many yards of soil, and built trellises and a garden bench.

“The bench was particularly important,” Ann said recently, “because we love to sit out in the garden each evening and watch things grow.”

They have 14 beds: nine are 3-by-9-feet long, and five are 3-by-14-feet long.

“We made them out of 2-by-10 common lumber,” Bill said, “and we screwed the boards together with decking screws. I wouldn’t make the beds any wider than 3 feet because otherwise it’s really a stretch when you’re tending the plants.”

They chose untreated lumber for their beds because Ann had learned in class that the chemicals used to treat wood – to make it weather better – will leach into the soil. Once that happens, vegetable roots will take up those chemicals. Because of this, gardeners should avoid using pressure-treated lumber, railroad ties or any wood treated with chemicals or sealants.

To read about all of their suggestions and tips, go to spokesman.com:

Try your hand at raised bed vegetable gardening as soon as your growing season permits. You will find that the overall control you can have over your garden will be much greater and there will actually be less work. Let’s see…more produce and less work. Works for me.

Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Have you planted raised beds before? If so, let us know what you ended up with and how it all went.

Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.                                                                                                                             — Marcelene Cox

Planning And Planting A Fall Vegetable Garden

Planting a fall vegetable garden requires planning. You have to know when the first frost is likely (going to) occur. You also have to know the time to maturity of each of your plantings so you can beat that date and have time to harvest your crop. Here is an article by Karol Kelly for The Telegraph that covers some of the basics you should know before planting.

Planning And Planting A Fall Vegetable Garden

August is filled with hot days and wilted plants. While we have been fortunate to receive afternoon showers the past few weeks, it is

fall vegetable garden

Planning and planting your fall vegetable garden. Photo by Jupiterimages c/o Photos.Com.

usually only a temporary respite for our lawns and gardens. With the promise of cooler temperatures blowing in during the next couple of months, this is an ideal time to begin planning for a fall vegetable garden.

As with spring gardens, till the soil and add lime and fertilizer as recommended by your soil test. In the absence of a soil test, start with 10 pounds of 10-10-10 per 1,000 square feet. Follow the label directions if you are using a liquid fertilizer. Crops such as cabbage, lettuce, onion, greens, peppers and radish are considered heavier feeders and require more fertilization.

Fall vegetables vary in the number of days required to reach maturity. A radish plant can take as few as 25 days to maturity, while carrots, lettuce and cabbage can take up to 80 days. To maintain a constant supply of lettuce and radish, seed every couple of weeks through early October. Transplants can be set out later.

A fall vegetable garden is easy to start and to grow once you know when to plant and when to harvest. By growing later in the season you can extend your growing season and make the most of your garden space.
Please leave a comment below and share your experiences and your thoughts. You can also click the like button and share this discussion with friends.
CABBAGE, n. A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head. The cabbage is so called from Cabagius, a prince who on ascending the throne issued a decree appointing a High Council of Empire consisting of the members of his predecessor’s Ministry and the cabbages in the royal garden. When any of his Majesty’s measures of state policy miscarried conspicuously it was gravely announced that several members of the High Council had been beheaded, and his murmuring subjects were appeased.”          — Ambrose Bierce

Fall Vegetable Gardening

So you’ve decided to do some fall vegetable gardening this year. Well, there are a few things you should know. You can in fact get certain crops going late in the regular growing season. In fact, some are really ideal for starting out late in the summer or very early fall, depending on where you happen to be living. Many crops thrive in the fall coolness and will take a frost or two and come back for more. Here is a short piece by Neil Sperry written for the Star- Telegram that gives a short primer on what to do for a great fall season, and how to protect your investment.

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Mid-August might not pop to mind as a prime planting time, but for several important vegetable crops and for three popular

fall vegetable gardening

Fall vegetable gardening extends the growing season and provides new crops to enjoy. Photo by Stockbyte c/o Photos.Com.

annual flowers, it’s their turn for the spotlight.

You’ll find the various “cole” crops at the top of the mid-August vegetable planting list. Cabbage is the most popular, but the list also includes broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. All thrive in fall’s cooler weather. In fact, all are capable of withstanding light freezes prior to harvest. But they need to be planted now.

The biggest challenge in growing these plants in the fall might actually be in finding the transplants. You’ll want fresh and vigorous plants of well-suited varieties, and your best chance of finding them now will probably be through local independent retail garden centers and feed stores.

Set the transplants into well-prepared garden soil. All of them will need 18 to 24 inches of space between plants within their rows, and the rows should be 36 to 42 inches apart to permit easy access. If you’re careful to select transplants that have been in full sun in the nursery, setting them into the garden now should present no problems. Plant them into small “wells” an inch or two deep to facilitate watering. Soak them every day for the first week or two, to allow them time to develop good roots.

Cabbage loopers are the bane of our spring cole crops. The larvae chew multitudes of holes in the leaves. They render cabbage useless as a leafy vegetable, and they weaken the growth and productivity of the other types. They’ll probably also find your fall plantings, so be on the lookout for the white butterflies that serve as your early warning signal. They seek the cole crops and lay their eggs on the leaves.

As soon as you see the horseshoe-shaped caterpillars starting to feed, apply the biological worm control Bacillus thuringiensis, known more commonly simply by its initials, “B.t.” It’s available as a dust or a spray, and it’s the only control, organic or inorganic, that works on these pests. It stops their feeding immediately, and they will die within 24 hours. It can be applied within 24 hours of harvest.

Fertilize all of these crops with a high-nitrogen food similar to one you might use on your lawn grass. Most of our soils test too high in phosphorus (middle number of the analysis) anyway, so nitrogen will be the prime need.

Read the entire article here at star-telegram.com:

Fall vegetable gardening can be both an adventure as well as a very enjoyable and delicious enterprise. Make sure you protect your veggie investment from those bugs and pests who want to get a free lunch at your expense. Try it and see what you can grow. You just might surprise yourself.

Share your thoughts and experiences with us. Have you tried fall vegetable gardening before? Give us some advice. Click the link and share it with friends.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.                                                                                                                                            — Author Unknown

Step Forward Into Fall Vegetable Gardening

When it comes to fall vegetable gardening gives many gardeners the opportunity to extend their growing season. They also have the opportunity to try some new crops that do well later in the year. Here. author Robert Hoffman, writing for the Your Houston News.Com has some tips on what to do to give your garden that second wind later on in the growing season.

Step Forward Into Fall Vegetable Gardening

After a long hot summer, residents look forward to planting their fall gardens full of vegetables. In the Houston area, the fall season is one of best times to garden, with mild days and cool nights. Gardeners can grow many delicious vegetables, and the cooler weather makes gardening more enjoyable.

fall vegetable gardening

Fall vegetable gardening brings more variety.

The best time to plant fall garden vegetables is around Labor Day. If planted the first week of September, all tomatoes should ripen by mid-November to avoid frost damage. However, some cold hardy vegetables, such as carrots and radishes perform well when planted in October and November.

 Many vegetables can handle a mild frost during the fall season, remaining sturdy and strong. As the end of November approaches, growers experience cooler nights and even freezing temperatures. As long as a frost is not severe, most fall vegetables will not die.
There are plenty of things you can grow later in the season that will result from your efforts at fall vegetable gardening. Why not try some later plantings and see what comes up.  Your garden has plenty of life left in it to provide you and your family with plenty of nutritious crops well into November. Whether it’s late lettuce, cauliflower, late broccoli, carrots, pumpkins or squash, there’s plenty of life left in the soil. Go ahead and plant around Labor Day and see how much you can still get out of your garden.
Please share with us your own late planting experiences to encourage more people to plant that later crop. You can click on the like button and share this idea with your fellow gardeners.
To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.

                                                                                                               —   Vegetable Quote by Marina Schinz

The Best Sweet Corn And How To Grow It

The Best Sweet Corn And How To Grow It

Face it, everyone just loves that taste of the best sweet corn during the summer months. It’s one of those experiences you just never get tiredbest sweet corn of. It is easy to grow corn in your vegetable garden and it’s remarkably simple, but you do have to understand some basics about the plant itself to have it turn out the best.

Grow Corn Without the Birds and Bees

Corn plants are actually in the grass family. Each plant has both male and female reproductive elements. The tassel is the male portion of the corn plant. Corn is wind pollinated. The tassel will shed its pollen grains into the wind. These pollen grains then find their way to “silk”, which is the female flower’s connection to the outside world. Just one grain of pollen has to find a silk in order to fertilize the flower part of the plant.

Once fertilized, this will ultimately give rise to an ear of corn. It helps fertilization if you plant your corn in blocks to ensure that no matter which direction the wind blows from, there will always be corn plants down wind to receive pollen. You can even pollinate and grow corn by gently bending the tassels down and manually fertilizing the silks on each stalk.

How to Grow Corn and When to Harvest

When the silks are brown and dry, peel away just enough of the outside of the ear near the top to test the kernels. Puncture them with your thumbnail. If the juices run clear, leave them a bit longer. If the juices are milky and white, they’re ready to harvest. See this interesting video to learn more about how to grow the best sweet corn.