How to Make Your First Garden Bed
The first garden bed
It is time to start your first garden bed. When you begin gardening, it is a good idea to keep the garden to a manageable size. I suggest the first bed should be no more than 100 square feet. A lot can be grown in this space and you can make it larger in year two, however, until you have actually worked your garden, you do not know how much time you need to keep the garden growing. So start small and assess your progress.
The first garden bed does not have to be square, it could be a rectangle, I suggest a four foot wide by 25 feet long space if rectangular is the shape, circles also make good garden beds. If you choose a circle be sure to include pathways so you can reach all the bed without stepping on the soil. When you step on soil you compact it and this makes it more difficult to work. A eight foot diameter circles is large enough to get started,
The four foot across rectangle allows you to reach across the garden from either side so you never nave to tread on the soil.
How to Make You First Garden Bed:
1- Select the site. Vegetables need six to eight hours of sunlight per day so place the bed accordingly.
2- Measure the bed, a measuring tape comes in handy; I have also used a garden hose to lay out the site or string. Attach the string to four stakes placed in the four corners of the bed. Run the string from pole to pole.
3- You can remove the sod and turn over the soil, add compost and plant or:
4- I prefer not to disturb the soil. There are many garden helpers earthworms among them that have their homes destroyed when you turn over the sod. Why harm the helpers?
5- Once the site is measured, water it thoroughly.
6- Cover the ground in newspapers, making sure to overlap the papers. Try and avoid the colourful advertising and comic section, water.
7- Add a layer of organic compost, water.
8- Add more newspaper, water.
9- Add a combination (50/50) mulch and compost, water
10- Plant into mixture and water. You can punch hole for seeds and plants and plant directly.
12- You can now add a border around the bed, rocks and driftwood can be used or you can buy garden borders to suit your taste.
Now all you need to do is pay attention to the garden, water it when it needs a drink. Keep an eye on what is going on so you can head off any invasions or disease before they get started. Make notes so you can refer to them when planning next year’s garden; what worked well, what did not?
Take photos as well throughout the season. They are great reminders of how it all worked out. Most of all have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labour, fresh vegetables you grew yourself.