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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Raised Bed Garden

Since we moved from our first home to where we live now we have never planted a garden. My husband and I have always intended to, but I have always been very pregnant or have had a new born baby to care for making it a little difficult to complete our plans. This year we were a little late but did put out a small garden.

We used string to divide our garden into square foot sections.  This made it very easy to know exactly where to plant our seeds and plants.

 We put the garden in our backyard which has very poor drainage and soil that is not the greatest. After some research my husband decided to build a raised bed for our garden. We followed the basic square foot gardening plans. Using these plans we were able to fit all of the plants we wanted in a 4ftx4ft area. To make our soil mixture we went to a local garden center and got peat moss, compost, and course vermiculite. Mixing these makes a well rounded garden soil. The vermiculite holds water and helps are garden to stay moist for a long time after we water it. In southern IL that is very important as we have very high temps in the summer. We planted 3 tomatoes, 2 egg plants, 2 bell peppers, onions, lettuce, spinach, basil, and lavender. In a separate area we made a few mounds and planted our cucumbers, squash, and zucchini. Since these plants get pretty big they need more room than our raised bed garden would allow.

My favorite gardeners hard at work.

All finished!  The empty spots are where we planted our seeds for lettuce and spinach.

 The girls had a great time putting out the garden. Emma loves to dig in the dirt, and I think even ate a little. Ella enjoys checking the garden each day, helping to water, and make sure there are no weeds moving in. Even though we got the garden out a little late it seems to be growing well. We have some small green tomatoes and tiny peppers growing. I can not wait for our first harvest!

Our garden this morning!  Everything has grown and with all the rain we are getting today it should grow some more!

 Have you ever done any raised bed gardening? If so leave us a comment with your tips and tricks.

 Have a Happy 4th of July!



  1. I have 11 raised beds 4X8 ft. and have had for several years. I do square foot gardening but never measure it off. I just plant what seems right. I usually don't have time to put up strings anyway. Your garden looks very nice. You cna garden in containers. Use recycled big pots like trees come in. they're free. Nice way to do many things without a lot of hard working of the soil. Your girls will learn so much and someday we might all HAVE to garden to survivie. Great work.

    1. Sorry, can't reply other than anonymous. Deb