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Raised beds and container gardening ideal for limited space
L. Woodrow Ross
If you love fresh vegetables and herbs and have limited space, don’t despair. Raised beds and container gardening may be just the ticket for putting nutritious, tasty food on your table. You may be surprised at the return on a small investment of time and money.
In 2009, my wife Margaret wanted a raised bed for herbs. She previously raised herbs inside in containers. She uses fresh basil, dill, oregano, parsley, cilantro, chives, rosemary and thyme to enhance various foods. Being a scavenger and never wasting lumber, I sorted through some materials and built a bed for her, and the rest is history.
We have planted a small garden in our back yard for several years with limited success. The property is small and shady near a small creek, and the trees sap the moisture making supplemental watering a must. Soil quality was also an issue.
After building the raised bed for herbs and seeing their success, we decided to expand the beds for other vegetables. Several beds were added last year and several more this year. The beds were filled with a mixture of woods dirt with organic matter, mineral soil from the old garden and a layer of Miracle Grow Moisture Control plant medium.
With the increase in food prices, we also made the decision to utilize more containers for vegetables. These can be placed to maximize sunlight and fit in odd spaces around the yard that were formerly unused. Clay pots are attractive, but moisture loss is rapid. Plants require frequent monitoring. Plastic or metal containers, while not as attractive, do not lose moisture as rapidly and are great for plants. Save plastic pots from purchased plants that are transplanted. The large ones can be used to grow vegetables and the small ones are good to plant seeds for later transplanting.