I'm on a quest to build my food storage into a 1 year supply with foods that I know my family will eat. I've decided to keep a blog with recipes that I know my family will love and using only pantry or food storage items, and maybe in the interim this might help someone else who is also working on obtaining a 1 year supply with foods that not only your family can survive on but they will also love eating. If anyone has any recipes that they would like to add please email me at basicfoodstorage@gmail.com

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Raised planter beds and Companion gardening ideas

We have just successfully finished 200 total sq. feet of raised planter beds and now we are in the process of adding our soil and vegetable starts.  I can't wait to see our garden grow, and start picking from our garden for some fresh healthy meals.

During the course of our planting I have been studying and learning more about companion gardening.  Here are a few things I have learned from various expert gardeners.

  • When planting in raised garden beds make sure you have soakers, or ample amount of water going to your beds.  With raised beds they tend to dry out more easily and need more water than an inground type of bed. 
  • You can start planting a little bit earlier in raised garden beds than in an inground garden bed because the raised garden beds aren't as susceptible to ground frost.
  • Be prepared to sew in fish emulsion and compost tea every year for a good productive raised planter bed.
  • use mulch in your planter beds.
  • planter beds need to be atleast 12" deep with soil. 
  • place weed barrier inside your planter bed to help with keeping weeds down.
  • do not use pressure treated lumber in the construction of your planter beds, the chemicals will leach into the vegetables.
  • Keep your beds 24"-36" in depth to make it easier to weed, and harvest.

  • Corn, Pole Beans and Squash - these can all be planted together in order to save room.  Plant the corn seeds first 8" apart in a circle.  When 6" tall plant pole beans on the outside of the circle of corn plants, after 1 week plant the squash seeds on the outside of the pole beans circle.  As the corn grows the beans will grow up the stalks of corn and the squash will give you a nice harvest below.
  • Tomatoes- they like lots of water, make a 12 hour watering container by using a liter bottle.  cut off the bottom and punch 3 holes in the cap.  Place the bottle in the soil next to the tomato plant and fill the bottle with water.  This will water the plant for the next 12 hours, continue to keep the bottle filled. Tomatoes also love mulch, but plastic mulch is better as it keeps the soil warm.  work in mulch around the tomato plants to keep them healthy and happy.  Also, work in shovels of compost into the soil and liquid feed weekly with compost tea or liquid food (fish emulsion)
  • Basil - Plant basil with tomatoes it will improve their growth as well as their flavor.
  • Lettuce- do not plant lettuce next to cabbage, they do not grow well together.
  • Onions- Chamomile and Savory plants improves their flavor.
  • Strawberries - plant onions with strawberries they help fight strawberry disease.
  • Parsley- increases the scent of roses when planted around the base of a rose bush.
  • plant marigolds in your garden to help with bugs.

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