#raised beds


So my boyfriend just bought a house and it came with this dinky little glasshouse. Over the past couple of days I have been scavenging all the organic matter I could from around the property to make some nice hugelkultur-themed raised beds that will hopefully be functional and productive.

1. Harvested old bricks to build the walls.

2. Raided the kindling box for pinecones and small sticks.

3. Layered all the cardboard we had in the house for unpacking.

4. More kindling.

5. Added compost from the pile that was in varying stages of decomposition. Did a bit of weeding and chucked those in.

6. Began dismantling an ugly old camellia that was blocking the drive and added those bits plus some soil I stole from an outside bed.

7. Pruned a kowhai (native leguminous tree) and piled on the trimmings. Added another layer of bricks with gaps.

8. Discovered a bin full of two years’ worth of fallen leaves. On they went. Planted strawberries in the gaps in the walls.

9. Found a deep litter of needles under the one massive pine tree. Covered this with a generous sprinkling of lime to balance the p.H. and add calcium.

10. Finished it off with a thick layer of more soil borrowed from the tired old outdoors raised beds. Planted it with a first crop of salad greens and broad beans to help improve and stabilise the soil in preparation for summer when I will be planting tomatoes, basil, capsicums, chillis and aubergines.
Dobby the kitten approves.

A very nice example of sheet mulching, a.k.a. “lasagna gardening." As the OP noted, these methods are very easily combined with hugelkultur.

(via misadventured-piteous-overthrows)

Veggie Bed #5

Using a combination of mulching techniques, I turned this former triangle of grass around a radio tower into a productive polyculture growing space, comprised of:

  • And a living fence/espalier of 15 quince trees, bordering the interior sunken plane around the radio tower. Vines of all sorts use the tower as a trellis.

I am growing many things in it this year, but it is slowly transitioning into a dedicated space for perennial vegetables.

Currently, this area contains:

  • Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes (the flower stalks are almost 3 metres high!) - perennial
  • Asparagus - perennial
  • Artichokes - perennial
  • Egyptian Walking Onions - perennial
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Chinese celery
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkins
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Calendula
  • Marigolds
  • Naturtiums
  • Morning Glory

More (tagged as #biodiverseed veggie beds):  Veggie Bed #1Veggie Bed #2 - Veggie Bed #3Veggie Bed #4


September 1, 2014 in the garden.  It is starting to feel like fall, but doesn’t look like it yet. 

#gardens #potager #raised beds

(via misadventured-piteous-overthrows)




Growing food instead of lawns is good, but can we PLEASE stop with the condescending bullshit that implies that people who choose to grow lawns must only being doing it for shallow ‘sheepish’ reasons?

Maybe instead of snidely saying ‘trying to impress your neighbors?’ give people instructions on how to work with and/or fight their home owner’s association, how to appeal to a landlord, how to address local ordinances, and how to grow stealth food crops as ornamental plants in areas where food gardening is banned. Seriously, they will come bulldoze your shit and then bill you for it.

We need more posts instructing people how to guerrilla garden and found community gardens, and fewer posts saying ‘You only have a lawn because you’re shallow and vain and stupid!’

There is always a lawn alternative. Always!

Really solid commentary from moniquill: you would be surprised in a lot of areas how much architectural controls and zoning ordinances limit what you can do with your own land, or land you rent.

There is also the omnipresent issue of soil quality and contamination of residential lots, which usually means folks have to so a lot of soil building and sheet mulching before this kind of thing is possible.

That said, my favourite stealth perennial food crop is the sunchoke: these towering sunflower-like blossoms produce edible, nutritious tubers year-round!

#food politics

(via hqcreations)



I “harvested” potatoes from my tower experiment today, and goddamn, was it depressing!! I legitimately got 5 potatoes from the entire bin. That was a lot of effort for nearly zero return.

Other takeaways: there were dozens of worms in the bin that resembled snakes in composition. They were thick and muscular ( versus your standard filmy night crawler ), moved as fast as snakes across the top of the soil and were iridescent in color, not dissimilar from a rubber fishing lure.

I imagine their color was from the soil I used and am still hoping it was the organic potting soil it claimed to be—not that it even matters with this many potatoes to eat.


I’m so sorry that this didn’t work out for you. What do you think happened? These potato towers are my favorite method and has produced well for me consistently.

Were you using commercial soil? Sometimes it is too much in the way of humus for potatoes, and you need to add sand or other inorganic matter to improve drainage and soil mobility. They grow best in a sandy, well-drained, cool loam soil.

Potatoes also require cooler weather to produce tubers: were they in a warm location, or did you have an unusually warm year? I can also theorise that the decomposition of the raw straw mulch heated the soil too much: I’ve seen potato towers done with newspaper, and this might be a lower heat solution.

Related: Potato growing problems - Troubleshooting

#potatoes #nightshades


Preparando todo…!!


#raised beds #gardens

(via mamisgarden)


I made a new vegetable bed today out of driftwood. It looks much better than the square ones and I don’t think it will have as many slugs hiding in it as the stone beds do. I think as the wood decays it will add nutrients to the soil too.

Pictured are poached egg plants which are great companion plants in the fight against aphids. other plants in the beds pictured are leeks, kale, rocket, wild onion potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb and peas.

All the beds I have made out of rotting wood keep the slugs off the plants, because the slugs would much rather eat rotting wood. The wood also encourages mycelium to colonise the area, and adds a lot of nutrition to the soil as it slowly breaks down!

#raised beds #polyculture #gardens #companion planting

(via hqcreations)

Wapsipinicon Peach Tomato, seeds from uglytomatoes, in a #straw bale garden.

Originated with Elbert S. Carman in 1890 under the name White Peach. This strain came from Dennis Schlicht and is named after the Wapsipinicon River in northeast Iowa. [seedsavers.org]



I am about [162 cm] 5’4”, so we are guessing that these sunflowers are close to [3.3m] 11’ tall! 

#gardens #sunflowers #raised beds #potager #polyculture #flowers


The many uses of straw in the garden! I am putting the 8 free straw bales to good use with 5 straw bale gardens, and 3 bales for garden mulch.

I just finished that section of the brickwork path this last fall (1, 2, 3), made from bricks from the 1950s that I dug up in the garden. The raised beds are my new lasagna gardens, which are part hugelkultur as well.

You’ll have to excuse all the wires and chaos: my husband is a radio amateur, and he has antennas all over the garden right now.

#straw bale gardening #mulch #DIY