Here we go again…

Every Spring, just to celebrate, I make a futile attempt at getting food plants to grow. On the rare, pathetic occasions when I momentarily succeed, something comes along and eats it.

This time I’m getting a little more serious. I’ve got fencing enough to keep cattle and rabbits away, and I’m hoping a raised bed will dissuade mice.

Saved some wood from shipping frames I’d torn apart for firewood, because the planks were too nice to burn. Now I need to find something to fill it with. I’ve got lots of rotted straw, horse shit and sand. Not much anybody’d recognize as “soil,” but that recipe has worked out pretty well around Ian’s trees.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Here we go again…

  1. Pat says:

    Just some thoughts:
    Compost needs to be aged, or “cooked” (some experts say for at least 4 months). If you’ve not been composting, it’s better to buy some; one large bag is sufficient for a 4’ x 8’ bed. One type of material (like rotted straw) may not be enough variety to serve as compost.

    Manure can be hot and heavy. I killed my spinach and chard one year because they wouldn’t germinate well under manure. Perlite can help aerate the soil. You might also add some bone meal for fertilizer if you can get it.

    The dirt in that area doesn’t look too bad (unless the photo is deceiving). Add some to your mix; there may be some clay in it to offset the sand, and it may have nutrients because it hasn’t been (over)worked yet. Make sure there’s no weeds in it.

    Water the soil *thoroughly* before you start planting. In the desert, it might be wise to soak the soil under the bed as well, then replace the bed on top. (Or place the bed where you want it after a good rain.)

    Don’t know what you’re planning to grow, but if you want beans (all kinds of beans furnish nitrogen to the soil), bush beans are easier in a raised bed than pole beans; there are no wires or poles to mess with, and raised beds allow them to be reached without bending too much when you start harvesting.

    This guy plants in the desert even without shade.

  2. Jean says:

    I hope you put wire mesh in the bottom to discourage the underground thieves.

  3. Joel says:

    I didn’t, and doubt it’s necessary out here but I’ve been wrong before. It’s still a good idea. I now have a line on wood for a second frame, and I’ll do that.

To the stake with the heretic!