Straw for Mulch

 

Photo credit: Amber Burst

Using Straw for Mulch in the Garden

by Rachel

If you are starting out in backyard gardening like I am, you may find it difficult to figure out what kinds of materials you need and where to get them.  I know I have.

To this point, all of my raised bed gardens have been bare dirt.  I know this isn’t optimal; I have read up on all the garden blogs that say you desperately need to mulch your gardens for the following reasons:

  • Mulch keeps the soil temperature more even (warmer in winter months and cooler in summer months)
  • Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil
  • Mulch keeps weeds from being able to germinate
  • Mulch adds nutrients back into the soil as it decomposesView 20+ Styles of Raised Garden Beds - Eartheasy.com

But I was faced with the challenge of what to use for mulch. All of the mulch I see in stores is meant to put around landscaping, not raised vegetable beds.  A search online yielded tons of blog posts singing the praises of grass clippings and dried leaves. But you see, I live in an area that is going through a severe drought.  I don’t have a lawn to be able to use grass clippings.  I don’t have that many trees to be able to use dead leaves.  The trees I do have are Eucalyptus and Peppercorn, neither of which would be good for use in a garden.  So it seems my best, most responsible option is to use straw.

Read the full article: Amber Burst

Un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

 

FOR OUR FRENCH SPEAKING FRIENDS

POUR NOS AMIS FRANCOPHONES

En 60 jours, il est passé de quelques graines à un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

Par Mathieu Doutreligne

Dans l’agitation de notre vie quotidienne, l’idée de faire pousser ses propres légumes semble impossible. L’histoire et les photos qui suivent vous prouveront le contraire et vous donneront la motivation nécessaire pour réaliser vos rêves.

TRANSLATION: In the bustle of daily life, the idea of growing your own vegetables seems impossible. The story and photos below prove the opposite and offer you the motivation to achieve your dreams.

===========

Si les autorités le permettent – If the authorities accept it.

 

 

Wherever you find a sunny location, you can grow vegetables

Photo credit: Michigan State University Extension

If drainage is an issue, raised beds can be very productive and easy to manage. Photo credit: Rebecca Finneran, MSU

Choosing a smart site for your vegetable garden

Selecting the optimal placement of your vegetable garden is important for success

EXCERPT

Vegetables can be grown in a wide variety of containers, and they need not be fancy. Even a burlap bag will do. Photo credits: Marilyn Goodson, MSU, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/images/Plant%20Ag/VeggieBurlapContainers.jpg
Vegetables can be grown in a wide variety of containers, and they need not be fancy. Even a burlap bag will do. Photo credits: Marilyn Goodson, MSU, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/images/Plant%20Ag/VeggieBurlapContainers.jpg

Selecting the optimal placement of your vegetable garden is important for success. When it comes to choosing a site to plant your vegetable garden, understanding the essential key components including sunlight, water and good soil will ensure your garden bounty. Picking fresh vegetables from your own garden or patio container can be very rewarding. In addition, you may discover new foods to add to your plate and may influence others to try new vegetables.

Read the full article: Michigan State University Extension

 

Raised beds are in

 Photo credit: Prescott eNews

Raised beds with trellis

4 KEYS TO DESIGNING AND BUILDING RAISED GARDEN BEDS

 by Ken Lain, the Mountain Gardener

EXCERPT

A raised bed is a bottomless frame set into a shallow trench. The sides can be made of almost any durable building material: rock, brick, concrete, and interlocking blocks. Retired watering troughs or claw foot bathtubs are the easiest raised beds, as long as they have the necessary capacity and drainage.

Mountain gardeners use raised beds to sidestep a long list of gardening challenges: Bad dirt is a non-issue, because you fill a raised bed with a customized soil-and-compost blend; drainage is built in and keeps erosion in check. Poor sun exposure isn’t a problem because beds can be positioned wherever light is more favorable. Plants can be spaced more closely together, so yields go up, water use efficiency is maximized, and weeds are crowded out of soil space. A really valuable asset is for gardeners who wage constant warfare against destructive burrowing animals; read on for specific building details that can keep raised bed gardens safe from these critters.

Location, Location, Location – Ideally, a north-to-south orientation takes full advantage of available sunlight. Avoid sites shaded by the house or under messy trees.

Planning & Building – At minimum build 3’ x 6’ beds. This size is wide enough to support sprawling tomatoes, but narrow enough to reach easily from both sides. The ideal height is 1 to 2 feet tall. Leave at least 18 inches between beds for walkways, or allow 2 ft if you want enough space to get through with a wheelbarrow or lawnmower. If possible, build more than one bed, which makes it easier to rotate crops and meet the watering needs of specific plants. Because the beds must be level, building on a flat spot avoids a lot of digging!

Read the full article: Prescott eNews

Growing vegetables in a raised garden (Google / gtowntimes)

Read at : Google Alerts – container gardening

http://www.gtowntimes.com/local/Raised-gardens-at-GMS-help-students-grow2013-04-19T07-40-09

Raised gardens at GMS help students grow

Special needs students at Georgetown Middle School are growing vegetables in a raised garden just outside their classroom.

The garden was installed by volunteers from Elks Lodge 2797 in Murrells Inlet. Bill Judd spearheaded the project.

“We just felt the children need some horticultural therapy,” Judd said. “It’s just something we wanted to do. We wanted to help these children with disabilities.”

Volunteers built the boxes, filled them with dirt and donated plants, gloves, trowels and watering cans so the students can grow tomatoes, kale, okra, collard greens and wildflowers.

“We love seeing the excitement in these children,” Judd said. “They just light up when they see their plants.”

(continued)