I grow vegetables to feed us, make natural ingredient creams, lotion and shampoo, cook all meals from scratch and detest E numbers. I live in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand

I now have 5 raised vege gardens. The 5th was moved into place and filled on Sunday. We have used 1.2m x 16cm x 2cm fence palings for the frame. Each corner has block inside, down 1cm from top and bottom so all frames can be stacked and locked together. I have chosen to use them 2 high which gives a good 30cm deep garden. I know this will sink down over the first few months but I can top them up each time they are planted.

Once the frame was in place, I put a lining of black nonwoven weed mat onto the ground and lapping up the sides a little. Next a layer of flattened cardboard boxes followed by slices of meadow hay. I spread some sheep pellets on this and wet it down, then the 2 bags of shredded newspaper I have saved and wet these down also. Another thick layer of straw followed along with the old straw from the chooks nest boxes and this was watered. More sheep poo pellets were sprinkled on then 3 bags of ‘garden gro’ from the local landscape centre. I left this as it was without further water as I knew we had rain forecast for Monday. Yes it did rain.

Latest vege box at the rear.

Latest vege box at the rear, as yet unplanted

I haven’t planted anything yet as I am going to try planting by the moon. I see that Wed and Thurs of this week is the time to sow root veges. I will plant carrots, parsnip, swede, beetroot and kohlrabi.

It will be the first time I have grown swede and kohlrabi. Swede was a vegetable I never liked cooked as a child as it was grown for sheep fodder on our farm. Dad always gave me swedes and one day I roasted some with other veges… I loved it and realised what I had missed all those years. I now eat it mashed on its own or in a pumpkin, parsnip, carrot and swede mash.

I prefer to grow Heirloom seeds where possible and have just received my order from  Kings Seeds today. I have included Belgian White Carrot and Beetroot Golden Globe. It will be strange cooking white carrots as they look very like radishes. I am determined to have variety and colour in my winter veges so have also gone for coloured broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

Does anyone else grow unusual coloured vegetables? Do you prefer heirloom or hybridised plants?




Comments on: "How to build a Raised Vegetable Garden" (5)

  1. Reblogged this on SacredTomato and commented:
    Are you finding that these dry out or freeze easier? I made similar ones, 3 ft x 3 ft x 6 inches, out of cedar fencing from Home Depot here in California, only $5 per box after taxes. I may need to berm up some soil on the outside to prevent the drying effect.

    • No I have never had problem with them drying out and just surface freezing but they are in areas where they will get maximum sun. I do not use regular garden soil, but a fortified mushroom compost type of soil that holds the moisture well and will not freeze solid – well hasn’t before. I’ts summer here so I hand water daily. If i poke my finger in and it comes out damp, I know its ok. But I like your berming idea. You could put a thick layer of hay around the sides then dig it in in the spring. I also mulch with hay once plants are well established. I will be covering some of the boxes with frost cloth and plastic over winter.

      • Thank you gentlebynature. I am enjoying the benefits of RICE STRAW! It is slow to decompose, not smelly, certified weed free and is using what was previously burned here in the Sacramento region. At <$7 per bale, it is easy to use, decreases the need for watering, keeps my big veggies off the soil, holds up heavy tomato vines, covers potatoes and my pathways! I am also using it on top of old cardboard as the base of my boxes made of cedar fencing! So far it is good!

        • That is great. I am glad all is going well. We recently brought a paper shredder to get rid of all out non shiny junk mail. I am using this in the compost bins, gardens too as well as in the hens nest boxes. It is working great too. Anything that helps bulk up the soil for free is fine with me.

  2. […] make vege gardening easier, as said in an earlier post, I have had raised gardens built. They have made a huge difference. The gardens have come halfway […]

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