Vegetable gardens produce bright growth and blooms in the summer and fall, and can bring in abundant harvests for careful gardeners. All gardens require the right mix of sun, soil and water to produce, though, and also need good air movement and drainage. If you want a garden and can't provide a site with quick, efficient drainage, raise the soil level to keep the plants healthy and safe. Use recycled materials such as packing pallets to cover large areas and provide ready-made raised planting rows.
Things You'll Need
- Packing pallets
- Garden loam
- Organic compost
Start the planting process in the early spring, ahead of the last frost, for a wide range of plant choices. Raised gardens eliminate the complication of frozen, frosty soil, and make earlier plantings possible.
Set the packing pallets on smooth, even sites with six to eight hours of sun every day and good air movement. If the sites aren't level, rake them to level them out. The pallets will sit more securely on a level surface, and drain more evenly for the vegetables.
Mix planting soil for the garden with one part bagged garden loam to one part organic compost. Raised gardens use moisture quickly and require more nutritious, moisture-retentive soil than in-ground gardens.
Fill the packing pallets with soil, and pack soil up between the slats and over the top. End with 2 to 3 inches of soil mixture on top of the pallets, with soil throughout all the layers of each pallet. Turn slow-release 10-10-10, 13-13-13 or 14-14-14 fertilizer into the top 4 inches of soil in the open rows between boards. These are your planting rows.
Plant small, contained plants in this raised garden to avoid root crowding. Leafy greens such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and collards thrive in small areas, as do root crops such as radishes.
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