The Vegetable Garden

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening kit

    I received my raised bed kit from and can't wait to get it together and ready for my seedlings. The kit is made by Greenes Fence Company who has been around for more than thirty-five years so they know a thing or two about wood products and customer service. The great thing about this raised bed kit is that it ships directly to your door for free and requires no tools to put together. The kit came nicely packaged with no damage and once out of the box was together in minutes. The hardest part was decided where in my garden area I was going to place it.

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    Been Two Months

      may-2010It's amazing what you can get in just two months. We had more lettuce and swiss chard than we could eat or give away. First time growing or eating swiss chard and I liked it. I ate it like baby spinach,  raw in my salad but still have some left that has matured that I'll cook. The cabbages were great and as you can see the corn, beans, tomatoes, peas, okra, squash, peppers, and cucumbers (yes, all that is in the 8x8 bed) is doing very well--just as Jonathan said they would. I have already set aside the space to build three more beds.

      One Month

        raised-bed-4-29 001It's been about one month and I have been enjoying a variety of lettuce and Swiss chard from my raised bed. Everything is growing well including two tomato plants that just popped up from seeds in the compost. No weeds have yet to invade the raised bed and the size of the plants are worth comparing to that of my garden. Look at these two pictures of cabbage, the first is in the raised bed and the second image is in a row in my garden. The raised bed cabbage is nearly three times as large yet both were planted at the same time.

        cabbage-bed    cabbage-garden

        First Plantings

          first-plantingsI planted my raised bed over the weekend based on the Food4Wealth this past weekend. It was too late for seeding so I transplanted a couple of types of cabbage, red leaf and butter crunch lettuce, and some red onions. After a few more weeks I'll fill in the holes with some tomatos, beans, squash, and whatever else I can squeeze in the raised bed.

          You can see my three bin compost system at the top of the picture. The Food4Wealth system is all about compost; how you can make it faster and what you need to do with it in your raised bed. I'll add a soaker hose throught the bed over the week.

          Jonathan White

            I did a little research on the author of the Food4Wealth book. Jonathan White is a professional environmental scientist and gardener with over 20 years experience. This book is his comprehensive package of techniques that allow gardeners to enjoy growing food with higher yields and less work.  Jonathan's easy-to-understand style makes Food4Wealth perfect for beginners and advanced gardeners alike. Check out the video message from him on the left side of this page.

            Built My Raised Bed Frame Today

              Frame-2-7-2010I finished reading Food4Wealth by Jonathan White (B.App.Sci. Assoc. Dip.App. Sci.) yesterday. It was an easy read, nothing technical or overly wordy as one might expect being written by a guy with a lot of initials after his name. I opted for an 8x8 frame made of 1"x8"x8' pressure treated lumber.  Using 2"x8' would have been better but the cost was twice as much. As the book states, you don't need to purchase lumber to make your frame, you could use anything that provides a barrier from outside weeds and of course, to hold in your organic material.  The Food4Wealth system is based on growing your plants in layers of organic material. The materials needed and the order they need to be put into your frame are all explained in the book. I spent roughly $80 in all at my local hardware warehouse to get everything I needed.

              Food4Wealth Experiment

                I just received a book by horticulturist and environmental scientist, Jonathan White called Food4Wealth. The book claims "absolutely everything you need to know to grow healthy, fresh organic food, without all the problems." It goes on to say:

                Set up a garden that produces many times more than a traditional vegetable garden
                Grow food that you can harvest every single day of the year, no matter where you live
                Set up a garden that NEVER needs digging
                Set up a garden that naturally REPELS PESTS
                Set up a garden that has virtually NO WEEDS
                Grow vegetables and fruit ORGANICALLY
                Fertilize your garden for free using waste from your household
                Produce food in the world's most environmentally and ecologically friendly way
                Create a garden that regenerates all by itself, year after year
                All of this garden magic is to take place in a raised bed with everything jumbled together, growing all over each other in a relatively small space. I'm sure this goes against some rule of nature and I'm positive that it goes against my southern up-bringing of how a garden is to be planted. I mean everyone knows that a garden is supposed to be made up of straight parallel rows with at least 3 feet of space in between each row, right?
                Follow my progress as I follow the steps in Jonathan's book, it should be interesting.