This is the year, the year you are going to start a garden!  Have you told yourself this before and have had the summer go by, still without a garden?  Not this year!  Join us as we do a series dedicated to you; the beginning gardener.  Each month we will talk about things that you can and should be doing in your garden.  Remember, you don’t need to plant an award winning garden the first year, pick your two favorite vegetables and start there.  It is much easier than you think and more rewarding than you realize.

Build Your Raised Bed

If the ground has thawed, you can build your raised bed!  Pick the location of your raised bed, a place that gets plenty of sunshine, and loosen the native soil about 6-10″ deep if possible.  This helps ensure adequate drainage of your raised bed’s soil.  Now that you have prepared the spot for your raised bed, it is time to get to building.  Sunset Magazine has a great tutorial on how to build the best raised bed and it can be finished in an afternoon.  If you prefer a faster method (raising my hand!) check out the MBrace from Art of the Garden and you can have your raised bed up in less time than it takes your to watch your favorite Friends episode–pivot!

Fill Your Raised Bed with Soil

Here is a great template of how much soil you need for a 3’x6′ bed that is 10″ deep:

  • 9 cubic feet of topsoil (9 20-quart bags)

  • 4.5 cubic feet of compost (4.5 20-quart bags)

  • 1.5 cubic feet of soilless growing mix

  • 1.5 cups Gardener’s Supply All-Purpose Fertilizer

Wanting to go bigger??  Check out this Soil calculator from Gardener’s on how much soil you need for whatever size raised bed you have planned.  The experts at your local garden center will be able to help you purchase the right type of soil once you have determined how much you need.

Plan Your Garden: Plant What You Eat

You may think that their are certain things that you must have growing in your garden to qualify your garden as legit; not true!  Plant what you and your family will eat.  If no one in your home likes to eat kale, then let kale be something you grab at the store when needed.  You will be much more motivated to grow food that you already enjoy, no need to retrain those taste buds just yet!  Although, a homegrown, garden fresh tomato can turn just about anybody into a tomato lover!  So with that, pick up to 6 vegetables that you and your family will enjoy and plan your garden from there. 

See, not so bad!  You already have a plan and will hopefully have a raised bed in place by months end.  Stay tuned, we will go over what to put into that beautiful raised bed of yours and the simplest ways to do so in our Beginner Garden Series: May Edition.