Planting a raised bed garden is really not anything new.   Take a look around and you will see raised beds in your neighbors yards or in public places.  It’s simply the act of creating a space with borders(wall, wood, stone,etc..) so you can add good soil.  They look really nice in addition to being easier to work than the hard ground with inadequate soil.

The first thing you need to do is select your sight.  Take in to consideration what you will be planting and what type of light it needs.  Usually you would pick a  site with sunshine at least six to eight hours a day.   Next decide how large of a raised bed you would like.    You need to be able to get to the plants for trimming, deadheading, picking or staking.  A good rule of thumb is no more than four feet wide or 3 feet wide if you are up against a wall or fence.  Ideally it is best to be able to get to it from all sides but if you need to place it agains a fence or wall, just make it narrower so you can reach the plants in the back.  There needs to be water accessible near by and leave enough space around the bed for you to work on the garden.  Placing mulch or stones around the bed gives you a place to walk without getting muddy.

  • The next step is to decide what you will use to create the raised garden.  Stones and wood are the usual choice.  You want to pick something that will make your bed at least six to eight inches deep.  This would be adequate for most plants and vegetables.  If you choose wood, be sure it is made weather proof by staining or painting.
  • Create the foundation by leveling the soil that will be underneath the raised bed.  If there is grass there it is best to remove the sod.  Place newspaper or lanscape fabric over the area so that weeds will not grow though into your new soil.  Some people prefer to have no barrier beneath their bed so that plants can grow deeper.  This is an option especially if you will be growing plants like carrots that need extra depth.  If this is the route you take, simply dig the soil that will be beneath your new soil so that it is loose and even.
  • The next step is to  build the raised bed.  If you are using stone or pavers just build them up as you would a wall but go completely around the area you will be planting in.  If you are using wood, using 2 x 6 makes the depth 6 inches which is ideal.  Join the corners with screws and place on the ground  keeping the bed level.  Simply dig down on a side if it is too high or build up the other side if you prefer, level is best.
  • The next step is to add your soil.  A mix of compost, garden soil and pete moss will make a nice texture that feeds the plants while also staying loose.
  • when this is all complete you are ready to put in your plants.

There are many advantages to raised beds, here are a few:

  • ~You add the soil so its’ good right from the start.  This means you don’t have to ammend the soil that is already existing in a garden.
  • ~Your plants are healthier since the soil is new and full of nutrients
  • ~The beds have better drainage than in the ground (just be sure they get enough water because of this.)
  • ~Beds warm up faster in the spring so you can plant earlier
  • ~Since you don’t walk in the beds they don’t get compacted
  • ~you can build them to a comfortable height for yourself

In the end, it’s all about making gardening easier and more relaxing, so if you have a flower bed with awful dirt, or need your garden higher to make it more comfortable to garden, consider a raised bed, it eliminates a lot of problems and is pretty easy to do.  The rewards will be worth your trouble.

“When all the chores are done, the avid gardener will invent some new ones.”~ unknown

 

 Starting seeds can be a sanity saver for many of us waiting  through a long winter for spring to arrive. 

 Last year my husband and I built a seed starting rack with lights so I could survive the winter gardening blues.  It was an easy and  fun project.

We purchased a metal shelf unit from Sams club. Then we  bought shop lights from Home Depot that could be plugged into a powerstrip so that no electrical wiring was necessary.

 Easy peasy.

 The only problem I found was that I wish we had made two shelves.

        ~”So many seeds, so little space.”~unknown 

 My husband and went to Ithaca, NY on our anniversay last week.

We love to go and sit near the willow trees on the side of Cayuga lake and take in the beautiful view.  

While we were there we decided to visit the Cornell Plantations.

 

 It is a part of Cornell University which includes a 25-acre botanical garden that features 14 specialty gardens, including Herbs, flowers, heritage vegetables, international crops, rock garden plants, rhododendrons, peonies, perennials, ornamental grasses, ground covers, and plants with winter interest.

 It was an amazing place.

  We only had a short time to spend there but it was filled with the sights and scents of gardening.

The grounds were so beautiful.

 

I especially loved the Herb garden which included many common as well as uncommon herbs that are used for spiritual practices, and rituals.  I found it very interesting.

  They landscaped with locally found stones and they included the construction techniques used in upstate New York.

 There is a 150 acre arboritium there which I can’t wait to go back and walk through when we have a lot more time to spare.  I am sure it will be quite a treat.

  We often visit Ithaca for a walk around the gorges or to sit by the lake but now I think this will be one of the places we visit often as well.

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Arlena Schott told us the National Garden Bureau named the Zinnia the flower of the year for 2011. 

She is having a Zinnia photo contest on her GardenWiseLiving FB page so I decided to take a look through my photos. 

 It made me realize just how many zinnia pics I have,

so here are a few since there is nothing blooming in my garden but ideas for next year.  

hmmm…. maybe more zinnias!

 

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There are so many different flowers. 

I even had a tomato that turned red. 

Unfortunately, the critters that live amongst us decided it would be great fun to pick, take a bite or two and leave in the dirt to rot. 

 I am not sure if it’s squirrels or chipmunks.

Devils, I ‘d say.  They have pulled up every onion I planted too.  Who knew they liked onions. 

 After a long stretch of incredibly warm and very humid weather, we have been almost cold the last few days with nightime temperatures in the upper forties and highs of 70 degrees. 

Very comfy weather and breezy too.

They are predicting very hot weather for this weekend in the 90′s. 

 It has been hard to keep my plants watered with all the cool breezy weather, that wind dries out everything.

I am sure we will be back to reality temperature wise soon, then I will be watering because it’s so hot.  Either way is okay with me.  It’s nice having dry weather for a bit, especially for the holiday weekend. 

Hope you have a great one!

~”As the Garden Grows, so does the Gardener”~unknown

 

ffVisit Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday.  See what’s going on in other gardens around the world!

Scenic SundayVisit Scenic Sunday too!

This is an amaryllis blooming.  It caught the afternoon light just perfect.  This is one of my favorite photos that I have taken.  

 

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Visit Gardening Gone Wild’s Picture This Photo Contest to see the other entries.

web-may-13-137To spite our crazy weather here in upstate NY, plenty of flowers are starting to show themselves. web-may-13-124

 One day it’s hot~ like 80 degrees, and the next it’s in the 30′s.

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There’s been a lot of wind and rain as well. 

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 The last couple of days have been rainy but not really cold so the whole garden seems to be coming alive. web-may-13-0421

I shouldn’t complain because we have had some really unseasonably warm days too.  web-may-13-0191

I think that is what makes it so hard to go back to frosts and freezes. 

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Luckily we live in the city and have a fenced in yard so my plants haven’t had much damage.   web-may-13-1271

A couple more weeks and we should have clear sailing( I hope).

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Today was a beautiful day so we got out there, mowed and weeded and finally filled our raised beds. web-j-004

Tomorrow I am off to buy plants ~ then it will really feel like gardening season.  web-may-13-1861

 

 ~Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor’s garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one.~Dave Barry

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Blogger’s Blooms Day.

Visit Scenic SundayScenic Sunday

Here are a few more of the pictures I found last week in my husband’s grandfather’s trunk.  web-vintage-0151

The girl on the right is my husband’s grandmother in 1917.

  They have such nice gardens in these photos,  I wish they were in color so I could see the hydrangeas.web-vintage-0521

What are these girls up to here? Being silly I suppose.  The second from the left is also his grandmother.

web-vintage-0221The woman on the far left is my husband’s great grandmother.  Their sashes say War Fund.  I am not sure what that is all about.  web-vintage-0542

  The garden behind this girl(in a similar uniform) looks really fruitful. web-vintage-0401

This is my husband’s grandfather in his WWI uniform.  I am not sure what the flowers next to him are.

  ~These pictures give us a tiny glimpse into the life way back then. I am sure their lives were so very different from the ones we lead today. 

   One thing does seem the same …  They liked gardens and flowers as much as we enjoy them now.

 

 One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.  ~W.E. Johns

Visit Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingie Thursday

biodegrable potsrp2p3-1rplp9-1If you are looking for a way to grow plants that’s easy on the eyes and the budget, consider container gardening.

  It is a great way to accent plants in your yard, deck, porch or garden. Containers are a great to  keep herbs in or near your kitchen.  You can even keep lettuce growing in a pot so it is always accessible when it’s time to make dinner.

 Choose containers that have enough space for the plants you plan to put in them.

  There are many websites to visit that give  “recipes” for containers. Or you can visit a garden center and use your own taste to choose plants that look good when you put them together.  Check heights of plants, sun and watering requirements so that they like the same conditions. Place them where you can enjoy their beauty. 

At Garden Shoes Online we carry a line of biodegrable  pots that will degrade in the landfill when you decide to dispose of them.  They can also be placed directly into your garden soil if you decide to put a plant into the garden.  No need to disturb the roots, the pot will disappear over time.  For more information about these bamboo biodegrable pots click on any of the pictures or on this link…Biodegradeable Pots t6320-1

 Ups-A-Daisy products are a great way to keep your plants healthy and your pots light so you you don’t break your back moving them.  No more loading rocks in the bottom of a large pot for drainage. Ups a daisy inserted into your pot  makes it drain well so your plants won’t get water- logged when it rains.  The ups- a -daisy is great for indoor or outdoor planters. 

I couldn’t resist this subject. morning glory

 I had a few pictures that work, so here they are.

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~”But each spring…a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” -~Lewis Gantt

Visit TNchick for photohunterPhotoHunters

 

 

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