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February 26, 2012


Man, so many things to think about. This is why I don't garden. I am going to be SO jealous of your tomatoes, though.

We bought these raised bed corner thingys even though they were kinda pricey because we are the least handy builder people ever. Then we bought lumber that didn't fit. So now I have anxiety that I still haven't started my garden when everyone else has. But the raised corner things seem like a good idea.

Um that link didn't work: http://www.gardeners.com/Aquacorner-%238482%3B-Raised-Bed-Soaker-System%2C-12%22-Corners/40-216,default,pd.html?SC=YNA7200A

Dude, you know when you see Free Dirt signs on the side of the road? THERE'S A REASON. That said, my Chris found a really nice dirt-ery (as we call it) and got a whole truck bed-full for something like $30. I bet you can find something like that.

My neighbor that grows every vegetable known to man, and year-round to boot - there is still much bounty even right now - uses raised beds. He's also a contractor, so building said beds was easy peasy. He also does drip irrigation so as not to waste water and water more effectively. They look quite nice really.

In droughty-land like OK (where I am) and TX, raised beds are harder to keep watered adequately, so I go with in-ground wide raised rows to pack in the most bang for my buck. Last year was my first big garden and I learned a lot, and I was so proud to get anything during that hellacious summer of doom. I like the Internet to tell me what to do, too, so you should check out GardenWeb, especially the Oklahoma Gardening forum (which gets a lot of action, you can check for a TX forum but I don't know how much participation there is) as conditions are similar and we accept all comers. I have a smallish garden this year since we just moved, and will be planting in my own version of Jeavons Biointensive method, which is based on French Biointensive techniques. More veg in less space.

Note about siting - in our super hot sunny climate, your garden may benefit for late afternoon shade. All those recommendations in books and seed packets for "full sun" seem to be for people in New England, with weak, wimpy sun. Check your yard every couple of hours for the day and see where the shade moves, and think about siting your garden where it gets good most-of-the-morning-and-early-part-of-the-afternoon sun. Long summer days mean at least 6-8hrs of sun for your veggie garden is good. Gardens that get 12 hrs of TX/OK sun can fry like bacon. My garden got sun from about 9 or 10 am until about 5pm. I didn't want to remove a lot of shade trees, because they shade the house and keep the a/c bills down.

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