Sunday, April 1, 2012

MIA and Raised Bed Gardening

Yes , I have been MIA for some time now about 4 months to be exact. Many things have been taking place in my life since that time. Dealing with the Holidays of last yr. being one , the cold weather taking it's toll on me in respect to the fact I tend to shut down during the winter months and recently my adopted father passed away and my mom came to live with me. So as you can see I have been busy and letting nature take it's course with me.
I am BACK!!!! LOL in full force and with many new and exciting ideas , tips  , tricks and so much more.
One of my latest projects has been to build a raised bed garden , now we were very lucky to find a kit at a very affordable price from the HOME DEPOT   , but you can use many different things to achieve a raised bed.  Some people use old tires ( although these days unlike our great grandparents have many , many chemicals so I really don't recommend them ) , bricks , cement blocks or left over wood can all be used. One of the most interesting things I have seen recently is a garden made totally of 2 liter soda bottles , so you see as always get creative and use what you have at hand.
From Pergola Nurseries FB Page
Living in Florida I have no real soil to work with so a raised bed garden was the best solution , now keep in mind this means purchasing soil as well as all the other needed items such as bug spray , fertilizer and since we live in a such a humid environment fungicide as well. Many of these are organic and some can even be made at home with such items as simple dish soap , cooking oil and vinegar. The choice is yours to make when it comes to the things you use. I myself try to be as organic as possible but even I have to use a bug spray that will kill leaf miners and although most people say they do little damage to a plant I am here to tell you they are wrong when it comes to Florida. I have lost more tomato plants to these little pests then I can even list but my spray is mainly organic so I feel as if it is a nice compromise , considering I would loose everything otherwise.
I started planting in early Feb. and the pics you see are the result of time , watering and plenty of care taken.
We currently have tomatoes , collard greens , onions and strawberries growing but our newest plants are peppers spicy and bell , eggplant and green beans. Now you will need to keep in mind where you live before planting , what are your seasons and how long do they last? In many cases with proper care you can in fact keep your plants longer then recommended by the companies selling the seeds or starter plants.
I recommend you plan ahead , you can start your own seedlings with an egg carton , little soil and seeds
( which are much cheaper then starter plants ) plan about 2-3 months ahead and place in a window sill so they can get about 6 hrs. of sunlight a day but be sure to move them in the evening when it gets cold if you live in a northern climate.
Once they get big enough about a month into the growing process you will have to transfer them to something larger perhaps a milk carton such as the ones children get in public school or anything in this size will work just be sure to make drainage holes no matter what you use. Once they are well into the growing cycle about 3 months after first planting the seeds you can transfer them to your garden.
Another tip is to save your seeds from any produce you purchase. Some may not like this idea since so many chemicals are present in store bought produce but it will also work from any produce you grow such as watermelons and peppers to name only a couple. Any seeds your can safely remove can be dried and then planted. To do this take your seeds and gently wash with cold water then place on paper towels or newspaper to dry. Depending on your seeds will depend on how long it takes them to dry out fully most take a few weeks and when fully dried can be stored for future use. Remember to keep them dry!!! Once done simply plant and watch them grow.
This is one of many Unschooling projects we do , many more will be soon to follow since hands on education is our families main goal.
All of this being said here is a list of links you might find useful to get ideas for your own garden :

Pergola Nurseries

Raised Bed Gardening

Recycled Tires For Raised Beds 

Brick Raised Beds

Home Depot

1 comment:

  1. so... just fyi... growing greens in tires is a great way to eat cadmium and other toxic heavy metals. just for the record. tire rubber leaches toxins and greens/lettuce readily take more toxins into the edible parts of the plant than, say, a fruiting plant. tires should not be used to grow food.