Grit Blogs > Faithful Homesteader

New Garden, New Technique

Faithful HomesteaderOnce again, my husband is changing things up for the garden this year. He always likes trying new methods. He seems more excited and committed to the garden this year. The past few years he has been more lax about it. This season, he is using ground level beds. The garden is already producing well.

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My husband put together the beds using three 2"x8”x8’ pieces of untreated wood. We certainly don’t want any chemicals leaching into the soil. One plank was cut in half to use for the end pieces. He just nailed everything together. He dug trenches where the beds were going, set the beds in them, and filled it back in.

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The ground level beds are supposed to help with a particular weed that has plagued us since we moved to our humble homestead. The weed shoots long runners underground deep into the soil. It kills the plants. The beds are housing the majority of our crops this year, and my husband is tilling around the external perimeter of the garden trying to keep the runners from coming up.

The ground level beds allow us to put down a thick layer of mulch for the health of the plants. As it decomposes over the season, it will provide beneficial nutrients to the plants. It also keeps the soil temperature down and keeps moisture in the soil. The boxes are also helping us keep things organized and compartmentalized. In addition, my husband is planting grass in between the boxes. This is to provide a ground cover. Like the mulch, it will also keep the soil temperature down and help maintain moisture in the soil.

The in-ground beds are better for us here in North Texas. Raised beds are not ideal because the soil gets too hot being elevated and exposed, and it shortens the growing season. We have had success in the past with lowered beds when we were dealing with drought conditions. They did not work so well the year we had excessive rain.

We have a lot to look forward to in the garden this year. Our asparagus has been doing so well that we got tired of eating it. We planted six varieties of tomatoes and four varieties of peppers. We also have corn, zucchini, straight neck squash, flat squash, okra, marigolds, and Asian beans. As always, I am hoping for a successful garden!