Raised Garden Beds Mistakes

Rasied Beds Mistakes UPDATED

Hold on, WordPress just let me know it’s been 3 years since I registered this blog.  Wow.

Thanks to everyone who follow along with me on my blogging journey.

Ok – It’s still spring and now that things are growing it’s just maintenance and preparing for the harvest at this point.  Might be my last Gardening post for a bit. Which makes me excited to share about our home coming up.

Raised Garden Beds Mistakes

I follow a local gardening group and seeing lots of people in our area making raised beds.  I see people across Canada that I follow getting into theirs.  So I thought it would be a good time to share my experience.

Spring 2019

We built our raised garden beds in 2019.  I had great success with them the first year and this year I’m taking a different approach.

Gardening is lots of growing and learning your knowledge. Mistakes happen and that’s how we learn.

Mistake 1: Not preparing the ground

Here’s what we started with before we built the Raised Beds. I was fighting so many weeds.  It was exhausting.

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I remember my husband saying our Garden was too big.  It’s half the size of my mom’s garden. I didn’t feel it was big enough.  I should have spent time knowing where the major weed infestation was to deal with the ground before building.

Mistake 2: Not Preparing the BOTTOM of the Raised Garden Beds

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We built these in the end of March in 2019.  We made sure the Lawn Mower could go in between for mowing. We kinda guessed, never researched the size they should be.

Again, we didn’t prepare the base or the bottom of the boxes. I’m fighting WEEDS, and left over invasive plants that aggressively come up. Cardboard or landscape cloth would have been a huge help here.

3: Not RESEARCHING the basics of Raised Garden Beds

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We got a great garden mix from a local garden center and filled the boxes.  They look so clean in this picture. However, looking back on it, I wish I did what we learned the hard way with other projects and did our research.

Spring 2020

We had a decent Harvest last year.  I shared about that in this blog post.

Mistake 4: Planning ahead for planting seeds and plants

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I forget to split my Rhubarb this year.  It’s overtaking this first raised garden bed, even since I shot these pictures.  Plus I realized last year that it was TOO BIG for the boxes.

There’s a gardening thing to do with companion gardening. Umm, yah, didn’t take that into consideration. My second box I’m trying to stagger plant.  My attempt to start seeds early this year went sideways.

Mistake 5: Labeling your plants

Carrie, really?  This is like Gardening 101 here.  I planted 3 Varieties of garlic…and didn’t label them. Oops. I kept the packages and at least still know the names.

I told myself I would remember….yah no.  I was in a rush and thought I was late getting the bulbs in the ground in the fall. Turns out I was just fine and should have taken the extra few minutes to make labels.

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Mistake 6: Critter protection

Critters as in Animals.

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I woke up one morning, walked out on the deck to see a perfect, cat poop mound in this raised garden bed. I took care of the mess and pealed some oranges and put them in the box.

THEN, our puppy thought it was fun to dig in this box, hence the make shift roll of fencing.  I need to think about a plan to deal with this box here soon. Any ideas would be appreciated?

Harvest 2020

I’m already loving running to the Raised Garden beds and getting fresh chives, parsley and rhubarb.  Already made Rhubarb Compote, it was amazing with mothers day breakfast on waffles and homemade bread the other day.

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Just a note to add – I’m out here daily dealing with weeds.  It’s a gardeners job to keep on top of it.  I get that.  However bindweed from the hedge and the corner of the yard is INTENSE. Including the buttercups that cover between the beds and the fence line.

I took these photos a few weeks back.  Now…it’s everywhere.  I’m glad I took pictures before the weeds took over.

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Happy Planting!

Don’t make these mistakes like we did. I hope this post is helpful to know what can happen.

I LOVE the Raised Garden beds, the difference in my gardening has been amazing.

If we built more to add to this side of the yard we will not make the same mistakes again.

 

 

 

Starting a Garden – Planting Seeds

Starting a gardenIf it’s your first time planting a Garden or you have planted many, I hope this posts gives you some helpful tips.

Is it too late to start a Garden?  Nope.  I live in the Fraser Valley on the outskirts of Vancouver BC Canada and we are considered Zone 8.  We are in a rich area for growers and lots of gardening centers because of our great growing climate.

Truthfully, I’ve started mine even later then March and even had to restart some plants several times due to deer eating my stuff.  I still got a good harvest at the end of the season.

Buying/Organizing Seeds

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I see buying seeds like grocery shopping.  Find seeds that are similar to veggies you would buy or herbs.  Some are easy to grow, others can be picky.  I’ll be completely honest and have had many gardening fails.  But, that’s how we learn.

My seeds are a collection from seeds I have saved from Harvest or seeds from my mom’s garden or seeds I bought. I’ve gotten seeds in a gift exchange and even got seeds from church.

Easy DIY – Seed Markers

  • Re-purpose an empty plastic container and cut them into strips and use Permanent Marker to write your plant names on them. Shown in picture above and seen in video in this post.
  • Hopefully they don’t get destroyed and can be useful for years to come!

Prepping Seed Containers

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Use what you have.  Even if it’s a egg carton.  Get creative, seeds will grow in rich soil and they aren’t picky how fancy the container is that they grow in. I’ve re-purposed containers I saved from times.  I bought starter plants when I didn’t have time to start seeds and have saved the holders to use as seed starters.

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I grabbed soil from my Raised Garden Beds and filled up the containers. Something I forgot to do in this picture was moisten my soil.

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Yup, I’ll say it again, get the soil wet. FYI I bought my gardening gloves from the dollar store a couple years ago.

I made a hole with my finger to make a nice spot for the seeds to go in.

Planting Seeds

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I love this photo.  Popping open seeds pods that I let dry on the vine from last year is something that’s exciting to see what’s inside.

Pretty straight forward to drop the seed in the hole you made and cover it up with soil.

Not all seeds will grow, I usually drop at least 2 seeds per spot

Mini Greenhouses – Encouraging seeds to start

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Keeping it real and again, using what I have.  A plastic container, vacuum bag and my window. Anyway I can to encourage the seeds to grow. I usually put it in my greenhouse and check on them if they are watered.  This year the frost is still here in the mornings.

I can’t end this post here and just say “Happy Planting”.

Bonus Tip – Community Outreach

My heart has been heavy with the current world state.  I see bloggers I’ve connect with here online in full on Quarantine. My husband and I are blessed he’s still working and we are not affected by job loss. Many are loosing their jobs here in Canada with COVID 19 outbreak happening.

With having young kids and we are taking the government order very seriously to stay home. I would love to reach out and help my community in any way I can.

I created a Garden Swap Box.

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  • I took an old planter box that was made for a Garden Party a couple years ago.  I don’t have a fancy word making machine.
  • I used my stencils and pre-planned my words on paper.
  • Using a Foam Brush I painted the words on.

Here’s how it turned out.

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While the kids painted I painted too. I asked a neighbor if I could put it out on his corner of his yard.  I put a plastic container with some seeds in unopened seed packages that I won’t be using and some pots to get people started.  Not sure who will use it.

Have you started seeds?

What are you planning to plant in your garden this year?