Raised bed 2

As a holistic health coach, I know the importance of eating organic food.  Our food supply has really been inundated by pesticides and hormones that try to get plants and animals to grow faster and bigger than ever before!!!  But I get tired of going from one store to another trying to find all the organic fruits and vegetables that I need for the week.  So I decided to do something about it….

I actually started gardening six years ago.  I bought myself a raised bed planter from Home Depot for my birthday.  Most of my friends were perplexed by this present but I had such great memories of my grandmother’s huge garden in Wisconsin.  As a little girl, I loved to go out and pick the vegetables that we were going to have for dinner.

Since moving into our house this past fall, I have been “plotting” about where my garden is going to go.  I knew our soil here in North Carolina wasn’t the best so I decided on a raised bed garden.  I wanted to up the ante from my previous gardening so we bought 3 galvanized stock tanks.  Of course, these tanks are normally filled with water so we had to make some holes for drainage. IMG_5381

After drilling holes in all three tanks, we added a weed barrier at the bottom of the tanks so we didn’t have any unwanted intruders entering from the bottom. Then we added a layer of larger rocks followed by a layer of smaller rocks.  We put another layer of weed barrier to lessen the amount of dirt that would settle into the rocks.  These tanks are 2 feet tall and the rock layers took up about 6-8 inches.  We added about a foot of organic raised bed dirt and cow manure on top of the rocks.

I started to do research in terms of what plants compliment each other in a raised bed garden like ours.  Much like health and wellness information, there was so much (too much?) information online.  I decided that we could just wing it.  We bought all of our favorites fruits and veggies and started planting.  In the first bed, we planted romaine, strawberries, cilantro, basil, parsley and mint.  Bed number two has five different types of tomatoes, string beans and sweet potatoes.  In the third bed, we planted banana peppers, jalapeños, bell peppers, a couple different types of cucumbers and zucchini.  The pictures below are shortly after planting.

So this is our great garden experiment!  I know I planted the plants too close together, but after watching our backyard for weeks, I found that we only get 3-3.5 hours of good sun.  Most of the plants I planted require full sun (6+ hours). I chose to do it my way and see what works!  After two weeks, I’ve seen great growth and progress.  Hopefully, we’ll be eating fresh, organic garden-to-table soon!!

Do you have a garden?  What’s your favorite thing to grow?  Any advice for me?

My greenish thumb and I would love to hear from you!