Growing a greener garden
I often get asked, how do I grow a more productive garden? The answer isn’t that simple.
There are a lot of factors that go into growing a greener, more sustainable garden. The first step
is identifying where the garden will grow the best. This location should have plenty of sunlight
and good drainage. The next thing I like to look for is if there are any environmental concerns,
such as animal access, invasive plants nearby, etc.
The next step is to figure out how big you want your garden. Are you doing plots where perhaps
there may be several different sections? There really is no right or wrong length or width. Next
you will want to create raised beds, I like anywhere from 12′ to 18′ inches. In order to have
beds raised this high you will need to create some kind of containment area (I recommend
Cedar planks). This is totally up to you, but I would highly recommend barriers. This will help
reduce erosion, and looks pretty good.
If you opt to do without barriers, I would recommend raised soil about 6 inches or so. Keep in mind as you create the raised beds, just like turf, the deeper the roots, the more drought tolerant your garden will be. One thing to mention with raised beds from ground with no barrier, is that they are close to the ground which can allow easy access for insects. Now let’s make up the mounds, I would recommend organic matter such as manure and compost that has been aged a long time. Mix with a good high quality top soil.
Some key factors no matter where you are:
Know your climate and how much rain you receive per year. How long is your growing
Use drip irrigation. Mulch when and where you can.
Try to create a habitat for pollinators.
Build an insect hotel. This is a great habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators.