Tuesday, August 13, 2013

To Raise or Not to Raise?

Summer was harsh on the Gigantic Garden. The extreme heat, well over 100 degrees most days, and the lack of a strong, humid monsoon really took a toll on production. We had a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, a decent crop of potatoes, maybe 7 zucchinis and 5 cucumbers. That's about it if you don't count the pretty sunflowers. Our young trees are straining to survive and all this with daily watering.

I've always believed there is no better water for a garden than rainwater. The evidence is clear after a nice downpour, when the plants stand at attention and act like that's the first real drink they've had in weeks.

We've always had raised beds in the garden, beginning with thin rows, then wider rows, but I built a prototype raised bed with rubber fence slats to see if the extra depth of loamy soil will help roots develop better and soil be retained and moist more so than a wide row on the ground.

I'll decide in a few weeks if I want more of these contraptions (which are very easy to build).

Today it was planted with peas, spinach, lettuce and green oinions. There is an existing fruit tree and surviving potato plant already in the bed.

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