Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Raised Bed Gardening

My bounty from last season...some of it anyway.

An Old Chinese Proverb:

If you wish to be happy for a few hours, drink wine until your head spins pleasantly;

If you wish to be happy for a few days, get married and hide away;

If you wish to be happy for a week, roast a pig and have a feast;

If you wish to be happy all your life, become a gardener.


Well, I don't know why you'd have to get married and hide away...but then, I am not Chinese. I am doing two raised bed gardens in my back yard. Here in California, I can grow veggies all year. I am so excited. I ordered the materials for the raised beds...as Dave and I both agreed that we'd never build them. We just have to snap the sides together and put the soil in. I figure we'll need two cubic yards...that's a lot of soil.


I have also purchased a rotating compost bin that I can put on the patio. I didn't want pests
roaming around!
http://growingideas.johnnyseeds.com/ and also growing potatoes in old tires!


Re: Question about growing potatoes

Quote
ONE OF MY FAVORITE TOPICS.I CALL MINE RADIAL POTATOES AND I GOT THE IDEA FROM A NORTH CAROLINA COUNTRY BOY THAT HAD THE BEST GARDEN SETUP I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A PIECE OF PROPERTY THAT COULDN'T HAVE BEEN A HALF AN ACRE.I PLANT THEM IN ABOUT 4" OF SOIL IN THE CENTER OF AN OLD TIRE. AS THEY SPROUT OUT OF THE TOP I ADD ANOTHER OLD TIRE AND COVER IT WITH A MIX OF SHREDDED LEAVES/COMPOST. BY THE END OF A GOOD SEASON IN MY ZONE (8) I CAN HAVE AS MANY AS EIGHT TO TEN STACKED TIRES. WHEN THE LEAVES DIE BACK, YOU JUST PUSH THE STACK OVER AND HARVEST. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRIPLE MY YIELD AND DO IT IN ABOUT A THIRD OF THE SPACE. THE GROWTH RATE IS UNREAL BECAUSE THE TIRES ABSORB THE HEAT FROM THE SUN. THEY GET ABOUT A GALLON OF WATER A DAY POURED IN AT THE TOP, SO YOU REALLY CONSERVE WATER TOO.IF YOU SPACE YOUR STACKS ABOUT THREE OR FOUR FEET APART AS YOU ADD EACH NEW TIRE PLACE GARDEN STAKES HORIZONTALLY ON THE OLD TIRE AND HOLD THEM IN PLACE WITH THE NEW ONE AND PLANT YOUR RUNNER BEANS, CUKE VINES OR PEA CROP BETWEEN THE TIRES. THEY HELP CONSERVE YOUR WATER BY ADDING EXTRA SHADE AND SAVE SPACE AS WELL.BTW JUST GROWING A GOOD CROP IS IMPORTANT, BUT KNOWING HOW TO STORE THEM SO THEY DON'T ROT OR GREEN OUT ON YOU IS JUST AS IMPORTANT.HERE'S SOME GOOD INFORMATION ON THAT ASPECT. [great idea for small space and lots o potatoes..and we are in zone 9b]

Someone I know is thinking about it http://trixisagooddog.blogspot.com/2009/04/trixie-contemplates-planting-potatoes.html?showComment=1239729300000#c6041172429416279680 and this is for Peg http://www.homegrownevolution.com/2008/01/growing-potatoes-in-tires.html

I will post as I go along. I am looking forward to this project.


A HUGE THANKS to Lori Hahn http://www.hahnathome.com for dressing up my blog. It looks fabulous.

8 comments:

Pat said...

Cool beans, pardon the pun. I'm jealous that you'll have a rotating compost bin. I just moved my beds as my trees have become so tall they were blocking much of my sunlight. I'm growing my cherry and plum tomatoes upside down this year. I like the chinese proverb...the marriage thing's a little weird, but then so is marriage :-)

DIL said...

It says : "If you wish to be happy for a few days, get married and hide away" Because for those few days you lock yourself in the honeymoon suite and "make whoopee".

Wish I could have a garden. Too shady at our house. :O(

TaraDharma said...

thanks for stopping by my blog! Funny thing, I have been contemplating raised bed gardening -- I used to do it eons ago. where, may i ask, did you purchase your snap together bins and composter? I have thought of building some, but like you, I'll never get around to it. Plus, I'd like to be able to take 'em apart if I move - I rent.

The photo is lucious and inspiring and now I'm really going to do it!!

Pat said...

Actually, I like the wine bit of the proverb the best.
The Mondavi Center might suck but I had a good bottle of their wine last night!

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

Pat..yep, I don't get why ya have to get married to go hide away (and make whoopee).

DIL..grow lights.

TaraDharma..I got the raised beds from http://www.frameitall.com and I got the Achla CMP-05 Spinning HOrizontal Composter from Amazon.com...and a few other things from Greenfeet at Amazon. :) Go for it!

Eileen and Sue said...

I love the new look of your blog!
As for gardening, I have my herbs and tomatoes..I'd have to dig up my front yard for a veggie garden. No sun in my back yard :( I tried.

Peg said...

I love your new look especially the picture of you with your girl!

But I don't want a big stack of tires in my yard! Oh God, please don't let Cheryl find out about this method of growing potatoes!disoem

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

Peg..I've heard thru the grapevine that your honey just ordered up some seed potatoes and about 6 old tires!! Lucky you.