Planting Time: Creating Environments


| 4/8/2015 3:44:00 PM


Of Mice and Mountain MenSpring has sprung, the rains have come, and now it's time to get seed in the ground. But before nestling those precious seeds into the warming earth, we want to be sure we have prepared for them a safe and healthy home.

One of the advantages of using a raised bed garden is that you can individually tailor the soil in each box to the needs of the plants you will put there. A pH meter or test kit is a handy tool to have. Sulfur and lime can be used to adjust pH up or down as needed. Compost adds organic matter and nutrients. Sand increases drainage; vermiculite retains the water. Straw, wood chips, newspaper, cardboard, and grass clippings can all be used as a mulch to retain moisture and deter weeds.

In addition to the soil they grow in, some plants do better with some structure to their lives.

Cucumber-Lettuce trellis

Here I've put a trellis panel in the center of a garden box. In the far front is the last of my winter spinach; a new crop has been seeded and will soon be taking the place of the current plants as they lose their vitality. Just in front of the trellis I've planted cucumbers. Behind the trellis is lettuce. Right now the sun shines through the trellis to encourage the lettuce to grow in our cool spring days. As spring turns to the heat of summer, cucumber vines will climb up the trellis and provide shade for the lettuce and extend its growing season into the summer.



Grape Trellis