When beginning a garden, it is helpful to have the guidance of a professional. This helps to avoid some seriously costly mistakes, as smart as you think you may be. My spring garden is lovely, thanks to my Early Spring Vegetable Class teacher, Cynthia Sandberg and her oh-so-helpful blog, growbetterveggies.com. In fact, my food is growing so well and I am enjoying it so much, that I decided I need more veggie beds so I can grow more, more, more! So, I signed myself up for Cynthia's Vegetable Bed Design and Construction class...
...and found myself astounded at what can be used to grow vegetables in.
Did you know it was possible to grow potatoes in a stack of tires (a.k.a. the 'redneck' bed)? You can make beds out of staggered-and-stacked cinderblocks or a jack-hammered concrete path, or even bales of straw (the 'edible' bed, depending on who is in your garden). There is the standard redwood bed or even a bed with no border at all. The options are endless, and even cheap.
Topics included which direction to build your beds (North-South), how to convert your lawn into a garden, how to grow on concrete (believe me, it can be done), what to do about a steep slope, how big your beds should be, what to make your paths out of, and what to fill those beds with. Phew!
We actually built a bed in class, out of redwood, just so we know that it can be done. In fact, I think confidence is what I take away most from Cynthia's classes - that I, too, can build my own beds, garden and grow food for my family.
This summer, though, my bed construction work will be done drawing up future plans. My pregnant belly and active son are making it obvious that it can't all happen right now (maybe I can convince Cynthia to offer a Gardening While Pregnant Class?). For the time being, I will grow my veggies in containers. Which means that I will need to take a Vegetable Container Gardening Class... stay tuned.