Category Archives: Building the Garden

A Load of Horse Manure

My raised beds are filled with poor, sandy soil so I had to do something to get a serious amount of organic material into the beds.  My solution? A ton or 2 of composting horse manure from a local stable.  The trailer was fully loaded and piled high when I pulled it in.  It took me about 4 days of serious shoveling to get the other poop out of the trailer and into the beds.  I shoveled more out than is pictured.  Have to find a good place to store the rest until next spring planting.  I lined Read more [...]

My Hoop Garden Is Taking Shape

I have prepared two of my raised beds for hoop gardens. I plan to do this for my 3rd bed that doesn't have a raised cattle panel running down the middle of it. The beds are made out of 16' lengths of 1x6 treated lumber.  The boxes are 5' wide.  I purchased four 20' sections of 3/8" rebar and had one of my sons cut them into 2' sections.  I decided to put 7 hoops on each 16' bed.  I pounded the 2' sections of rebar 1' into the ground, leaving 1' above ground - the height of the bed side.   Read more [...]

Overview of Garden, July 10, 2013

This is an overview pic of the garden. I had to build raised beds because the soil is hard red clay. I knew that the raised beds would be an issue in this heat - the soil is literally cooked with the heat that passes thru the 1x6" side walls that are 12" high.  The day time temps have been in the upper 90s to low 100s. I mulch the soil surface with inches of dried leaves in an attempt to hold in the soil moisture, but I still have to water every 3 days or so.  The sandy soil still dries crusty Read more [...]

Update of Yellowing Leaves

I scattered Blood meal around the yellowing plants - squash and peppers.  Blood meal is nitrogen.  I also fertilized with full label strength Miracle Grow.  I then watered even more.  This seems to have helped.  The new squash growth is dark green, so I am assuming the fertilizer helped.  For now.  I am still worried about all of the sand in these new beds - and the lack of organic matter.  I have to find an affordable way to load these beds with organic matter - then I need to get earthworms.  Read more [...]

Over-View of the Garden

This pic is from early May, when I finally got my raised beds built. I had to build them myself - quite a job for an old gal like myself!  You can see in the beds near the bottom of the pic that I had already planted my heirloom peppers that I start from seed each spring.  I put wood chips and mulch in the walkway between the beds  - it covers the red clay.  The beds were filled with a load of mediocre quality top soil mixed with 18 bags - added to each bed - of cheap Lowes compost and soil.  Read more [...]

I Want To Expand My Garden

I want to expand my garden, to do so I will have to do some clearing of the woods.  These woods are just beyond my raised beds and our yard. The soil is mostly red clay.  Clay.  The woods has about a 12" layer of nice black compost from decades of falling leaves, pine needles and tree parts, but that gets disturbed when the tree roots are dug up.  I don't know what I'll do.  I'll probably build raised beds, thus I won't have to dig up the root stumps.  However, I don't want to cut any more Read more [...]

Tomatoes Are Growing

When we moved here, we had to build the garden from nothing - in April, it is TIME to plant tomatoes. I wouldn't have the raised beds built for another month, so we had to use logs and put together a shallow, quick tomato bed. A few weeks later the tomato transplants are doing fine, growing right along. A month later the tomato plants are starting to producing the red prize. We usually plant 3 times this many tomatoes, but couldn't this year.  Don't think I'll be doing much canning this Read more [...]

Filling The Beds

The raised beds are finished and the load of mediocre quality top soil to fill the beds with has been delivered.  As you can see, we have already been digging in it - about a third of it is already in the beds. The topsoil is very sandy and certainly not optimal for growing vegetables.  In each bed, I mixed 18 bags of cheap compost/top soil stuff that Lowes sells.  I also added a half of a large block of peat moss to each bed.  You can see the darker compost before it was mixed together with Read more [...]

Raised Beds for the New Garden

We moved to a new location.  The soil at this new location is red clay, thus vegetables can not be grown in the ground. Eight foot garden timbers were cut into 2' sections.  A 1 foot post hole was dug - half of the 2' post was buried in the ground and 1' left above ground to which the two 1x6's were lag screwed. The long sides are up - each long side had to be leveled vertically and the post holes filled with dirt pounded in to keep the sides level: A Close-up of the sides: To keep things Read more [...]