Starting a Backyard Garden with Raised Beds and Pots

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Starting a Backyard Garden with Raised Beds and Pots /page.cfm/208643
You can start a backyard garden with raised beds or pots. Home gardening is the number one hobby in the
United States. Is there anything more satisfying than walking out your back door, picking a juicy red
tomato and enjoying that sweet fresh flavor? It is a rare treat and for most of the country it is only
something we get to experience in July, August and September, but it sure is worth it. When you go to the
grocery store in the dead of winter and the tomato package says, "Vine Ripened and Tastes like Summer",
don't you believe it!
There is nothing quite like producing your own fresh food and it is very easy to do. No matter what size
your backyard may be, or even if you just have a patio or deck, you have room for a garden by building
raised beds, pots, window boxes, or just about anything that wil hold soil.
First, you must decide how much space and time you may want to
devote to your new project. Like most new endeavors, starting
smal is a good idea, and as you learn from experience you can
grow and grow from one season to the next. If al you have is a
patio or deck, you should consider what we cal "container
gardening". This is nothing more than something like a five gal on
bucket or maybe a whiskey barrel or maybe a used wheelbarrow.
Even an old bathtub would do the trick! Just fil them with clean
composted soil and you are ready to plant.
If you have a little more space, raised beds are the way to go.
These are constructed with organic pressure treated lumber and
range in size from four feet wide, one foot deep and to as long as
you would like (10 to 12 feet is most common). It is important to
limit the width because you must be able to reach the center of the
bed without stepping on the soil. If you are going to use raised
beds, it is a good idea to put pencil to paper and figure out how
large an area you are going to work with and how many beds you
want to build.
Because your garden is new, this wil be your best chance to fil it with clean weed free soil. If you are just
doing container gardening, you can purchase bagged soil at any nursery or garden center. For raised
beds, you wil need to have soil or loam delivered by a local landscape service or mulch supplier. You wil
need approximately 3/4 of a cubic yard for each 4x12 foot bed. Make sure you specify composted loam for
vegetable gardens. Upon delivery, mix in a smal amount of peat moss to lighten up the soil, about 5%. Fil
up your containers or beds and you are ready to plant.
Herbs are quite easy to grow and don't require much space, which makes them ideal for
gardens. Select whatever varieties you commonly use such as dil , thyme, parsley, chives, sage, oregano,
etc. Many herbs are perennials, meaning they wil grow back year after year without replanting every
season. Chives are wonderful because a smal bed wil come back to life early in the spring and require
very little maintenance. Many herbs that you plant in containers can be overwintered inside and returned
to the patio the fol owing spring.

Regarding vegetables, tomatoes are an obvious choice along with
cucumbers, lettuce and peppers. These four items alone wil
provide you with salads al season long. Green beans are very
popular too and with staggered planting, you wil be able to harvest
them for several weeks in a row. Onions grow very wel
throughout the United States and should be planted as "sets".
These are just immature onions about 4 inches tal that have been
commercial y grown for transplanting to home gardens early in the
Farmers Markets wil have many varieties of plants to put in your
new garden. Plant whatever you like, but let's get going. Spring is
here and it's time to get dirty! You wil find a great selection of
herbs and some perennial vegetables such as asparagus and
rhubarb at Greenwood Nursery (
Place your order as early as late winter for shipping at the right
time for your area.

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