Growing in a raised inground garden

Equipment needed:

Shovel or spade – for small areas
Rototiller* – for large areas
Available at rental stores
Rake
 
This article is based on building a free standing garden, however if you were interested in containing your garden and soil in a raised box, we have included a few sites who offer kits and additional information at the end of this article.
 
You will also need:
Pefferlaw soil product – we recommend Pefferlaw brand 3-Way Mix - all our soils are certified for use in organic agriculture
Soaker hose(s) Black garden fabric
Mulch, straw or some sort of organic ground cover (optional)

Pefferlaw brand 3-Way Mix already contains peat humus, peat fibre and manure, all the ingredient needed to grow a successful garden. You can substitute Pefferlaw brand 3-Way Mix with any combination of Pefferlaw brand: Organic Compost, Cattle and Sheep Manures or Top Soil.

1. Select a site:  Select a site best suited to the plants you wish to grow. Take note of conditions such as how much sunlight or shade is in that area per day.  Vegetables usually require at least  8 hours a day.  For a flower bed the amount of sun and shade in the area will determine weather you are planting sun loving plants or shade loving plants.

2. Preparation:   Prepare the soil by removing old lawn, weeds and debris. How you will want to do this will depend on the size of the area.

Small areas:      Use a shovel and hoe – make sure you remove all the roots from the ground or cover the area with a tarp for several weeks, this will kill all vegetation and  roots.

Large areas:      Consider renting a rototiller to loosen the soil, rake up all plants and roots.

3. Add Pefferlaw brand 3-Way Mix:   If the garden you are building is enclosed in some sort of structure you would simply fill the area with 3-Way Mix otherwise add the Pefferlaw Brand 3-Way Mix on top of the existing soil in rows with a base approximately 36” wide to the length of your garden. Heap the rows up with sloping sides to a height of 6” or 7” and a width of 24”on top. You should keep a gap of approximately 12” between rows. Gently flatten the top of the heap, leaving the soil loose, do not pack the soil down.

One 30 L bag will cover a 1’ of a 36” wide row.

4. Install soaker hose(s):   Stretch soaker hose up and down the middle of each row connecting additional hoses as needed for length of the garden. Use a stake at each end of row to wind hose around and keep it in place.

5. Install weed control:   Stretch black garden fabric along the top for the length of each row. Fasten the ends down with rocks, dirt or stakes.Connect a garden hose to the female end of the soaker hose and ensure there is an end cap on the end of the soaker hose.   Run water through the hose,check for leaks and tighten all the connections.

You can lay some sort of organic mulch materials in between each of the rows to keeps weeds down.

6. Planting:   When planting plants, cut an X’s in the fabric big enough to put the root section through next to the soaker hose, fold the corners of the X in. Turn water on every second evening to soak roots as needed.

7. Annual Care of garden: This garden will need little maintenance each spring, rototilling should not be necessary as the soil should not compact. It is a good idea to top dress your garden to refresh nutrients in the spring. Remove old fabric, add a Pefferlaw Manure or 3 Way Mix and rake in.  Return soaker hoses to each row and replace with new black fabric. 

Raised Garden Kits - Where to buy and additional information:

www.bufco.ca - Organic vegetable garden design and maintenance

www.greengourmetgardens.com -  Square foot gardens and gardening organic information

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