My new raised bed made from scrap siding.
After watching a video about extended season gardening about 15 years ago, my wife and I decided to try it out. We had to make a few adjustments to keep the tents from blowing down in the wind. By strapping 1.25″ pvc to the inside of the wood we can adjust the height of the hoops…one year we’ll have short hoops for greens, the next year we’ll have tall hoops for tomatoes.
Those raised beds served us well, but are starting to rot. When we replaced some partially rotten wood siding on the house, I decided to use it as a replacement raised bed. I sawed out the rotten areas and just cobbled these together to get a 4′ x 16′ x 14″ tall bed. (1.22 m x 4.87 m x 35 cm) I painted this time with some left over house paint, hoping it will protect the wood for another 15 years.
I added two drip watering grids by using 8′ (2,44 m) pieces of pvc. The joints do not have to be glued because with all the holes drilled in them, they won’t leak. I drilled the holes about 6″ apart (15 cm) on each side and then plant where the water comes through.
Companion planting (Look at the comfrey site too)
We’ve had trouble with growing carrots in the past. Sometimes they fail to germinate. If we get them to grow early in the season, the slugs get them. So we wait until July or August, but then we get a carrot maggot, those little worms that tunnel into the carrots. So in an effort to grow great carrots AND avoid the tunneling worms we found leeks to be a good companion plant to carrots. They repel the carrot fly.
Drip water grid. By not gluing the joints, I can use the same garden hose to water grid connection, by slipping it off one grid, and onto the other. Also I can ‘mix and match’ the pvc to fit longer or shorter beds the following years.
Carrots and leeks growing well
3/4 inch pvc hoop slips easily into socket (Looks like I didn’t paint it very well)
Deer love carrot tops, so to avoid a high fence all around the garden, we opt to net everything. I’ve tried twine, wire, and now fishing line to tie the netting to some pvc. It’s a very tedious job, but once it’s done, little effort is needed to flip the netting off. Just remember to flip it back or the deer will enjoy.
By placing the plastic, I can decide to protect against the raging storms, or to let a gentle rain soak the soil. In winter, I keep the plastic on to protect them in frost or the occasional snow.
The reward are healthy carrots free of little black worms and leeks for the winter dishes.
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