Sunday, October 24, 2010

Raised garden beds now have seeds and small plants planted!

It's almost hard to believe that we now have something in our raised garden beds. I built both raised garden beds a few months back and have waiting unpaintenly to  plant anything in them  for soooo long! Now that the harsh Arizona summer weather has moved along, we can actually go outside and work in our new raised garden beds. Here are some photos depicting as best I can, how we layered our garden bed soil and what went into the mix and why.

A quick reminder of the size of our raised garden beds:Raised bed #1 is 10' x 3' x 18"
Raised bed #2 is 20' x 3' x 18"

First thing we did was to add close to 1"-2" of newspaper along the bottom of the raised bed for a carbon source.

Next we added some alfalfa hay to the raised garden bed. For this 10' x 3' raised bed we used about half a bale of alfalfa hay to cover the newspaper.

After adding the alfalfa hay, we added a few good shovel scoops of our very own compost! We were excited to use this compost since we started  our own compost pile some time ago in preparation for our raised garden beds.

Then it was time to add the worms! We added about 40 Canadian nightcrawlers to each raised garden bed to help work the soil for us as well as give us those great worm castings the plants love. We should be able to keep this raised garden bed soil moist enough to have these Canadian nightcrawlers live for and reproduce for years and years.

After adding our garden soil mix to fill in the raised beds and cover our worms, we added some bone meal and blood meal for a nice organic fertilizer boost. We mixed the bone and blood meal into the top 3"-4" of our raised beds with a metal rake.

The final step in adding the soil to our raised garden beds was to give it good soaking with the garden hose. Although we were spraying the garden bed with the garden hose after each layer of mix, it's a good idea to really wet it down after the layer is completed. This help the soil mix settle and let's you see any low spots you may need to level out.

Next thing on the list was to install our soaker hose that will water our raised garden beds evenly. This was done the following day since adding the soil to the garden beds took a while to's not that I'm lazy, but see how long it takes you to shovel 10,000 lbs of soil mix into a wheelbarrow then shovel it into a raised garden bed, lol!!!!!!!!

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