Monday, March 19, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Transplants & Raised Beds

A month ago I wrote about the beginning of the new gardening year. For the last week or so we've been transplaning the seedlings into (mostly) individual pots. Now that everything is transplanted it looks like this:

The two pots in the front with nothing in them are just planted zucchini. Everything else is pretty obvious: Tomatos are on the left, basil, parsley and thyme here and there, eggplant and peppers on the right.

We've built a new raised bed frame this year.  In the past we've avoided using presure treated lumber since it used an arsenic based compound. These days a less toxic copper formulation is used, though leaching is still a potential issue. As a result, we'll grow only leafy plants there this year.

Fortunately, the materials are still pretty cheap. For our 18 square foot bed two 12 foot 2x6 boards and a single 8 foot 2x2 cost $17.93. We had them cut the 2x6 boards in half - just the right size for a 3 x 6 foot bed and also just the right size to fit in our Mini. I cut one in half to make the ends of the bed frame:

The copper in the treated wood means that you need to used stainless steel or hot dipped screws to hold everything together. I happened to have some treated deck screws left over from another project but if you don't you'll need to buy a few - 16 three inchers will do the trick.

With the bed in place we added a couple .75 cubic foot bags of dried manure and half a bag of peat moss to the surprisingly sandy soil next to the garage. This is the only place left in our little urban lot that gets anything close to full sun.

It doesn't look like much now, but there are three rows of cima di rapa there - the white PVC pipe marks where the next row will start. Given the price of broccoli raab around here that already more than pays for the materials that went into the bed.

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