Monday, April 4, 2011

Raised Bed Gardening

Our Free Wood Chip Source

I have often heard that you could find lots of places that would give away free wood chips. I never seemed to be able to locate any.:o) Then I stumbled across this gentleman.

He loaned us his truck to bring the full load of chips home and we get to do this every weekend until we don't need any more! 
Thank you George!
The "Raised Beds".
This is the same spot that I put my garden last year. My reasoning was that it would be easier to fence off, since it had buildings on two sides. And the garden went pretty good. What I didn't know when I placed my garden here is that Scott had been spraying sterilizer on this spot for about 8 years. I found out when he mentioned that he was amazed that ANYTHING had grown there.
Sheesh Honey. :o)
Love ya.

So I decided that this year I would work on amending this soil and using it as a test spot for all of the soil building information I've read over the years. 

We had the area plowed and then we set to work with our shovels. We dug "paths" through the beds and I'm still hoping to line the beds with wood that I'm scavenging from pallets.  I've seen this frameless bed technique used quite a bit though, so I'm not too worried about that part. 

We incorporated a truck bed full of compost from our local nursery. I think that it could have used a few more loads, but this is what we're running with this year. 

Then we're layering wood chips over the whole thing to help keep in moisture and for weed control. 

Last year I used straw. It worked great in the areas that the straw was thick enough. But we have really high winds here in Texas, and if the straw was dry it would blow away. With the supply of free wood chips I know that I can get the layers thick enough, and I'm pretty sure they will stay put. 


This will be the last year that we till up this patch. After this we'll just add compost and see if we can get this soil to come alive.
I'm going to be spraying a molasses mixture on the area and drenching the soil with it once I plant. I'm very excited about molasses! I had no idea that it could be so beneficial.:o)

Tyler did a good job unloading the chips.
He created Mt. Tyler.:o)

It was hard work yesterday. The wind was blowing hard and getting dirt everywhere. I'm sure glad that I had Scott and Tyler there! Those beds wouldn't have happened without Scott, and those wood chips wouldn't have gotten unloaded if it weren't for Tyler.
Thank You Boys!!

 Conner "helped" too.


Jim Miller said...

Hey, Wendi!
Great blog! Would like to learn more about using molasses spray. Do you have any links, recipes to share?

Restless Prairie Farm said...

I posted a link on my facebook page. I'll try to get it over here.

Hey, how do I get in touch with the lady in Seymour? I'm excited about heirloom tomatoes and I'd love a local source if she still had some.:o)