a veggie makeover into potager- HELP!

zgardennut(zone5b)March 12, 2009

I was wondering....my veggie patch is just soil.

When I put the raised bed boxes in do I rake up some soil from the paths and put it in the boxes or just buy soil for in the boxes? I plan on putting newspaper and mulch in the path areas to walk on. Money is a factor ..thanks to all who respond!!!

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Do you compost? I only have one tiny raised bed, but I filled it almost entirely with compost from my yard, grass clippings and shredded leaves, piled up and let it rot. Granted, even if you work at it, it takes time. But often cities and counties have compost areas where you can go get it for little cost, even free. That, plus your soil from the paths, ought to do the job!

Of course, you don't have to put in raised beds at all. You could just define your beds with bricks or whatever and still have paths. Even then though - amending soil with compost is a great thing!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Here is a lovely example of what I mean! They used boards for their paths/edging.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ground-level Beds

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 11:23AM
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listenstohorses(6 & 8)

Thank you Alys for that link. Lots to look at there.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:36AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have been building a potager this month, so I know where you're coming from. I started with my compost pile and that was enough to fill my first two beds, along with the soil that I was digging and amending.

Then, my husband took the lawn mower and scalped our lawn since it was beginning to green up. Believe it or not, those clippings he caught in the lawn bag were enough for two more beds, and he's not finished yet!

THEN, I spent Saturday morning, cleaning out one of my flowerbeds, a big one. I pulled out all the leaves that had blown in over the winter as I pulled back mulch and fertilized. I threw those leaves onto a tarp and I do believe there will be enough of those to till in and fill another bed! (4'x8' beds)

And then, to top it all off, a friend of mind has horses. He brought me a trailer load of manure from his stables that has been composting all winter and parked it on my driveway.

I tell you all this to say that there's plenty of free organic material around you if you think outside the box, ask questions, and call in favors. :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:20PM
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marcy3459(6a NE OK)

Hmmmmm, Donna, you and I have been doing just about exactly the same thing the past few weeks. Gardening becomes a complete recycling center. And the neighbors just love us because they now have a place to bring their leaves in the fall, which we compost all winter in a straw bale bin for all my gardens in the spring. Sometimes I almost feel like a thief because I am getting all this good, free stuff from people and using it for my own pleasure.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:34PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Yes, marcy. I have often resorted to offering senior adults in our church free yard raking services in exchange for their leaves and pinestraw. My only guilt is in accepting their gratitude, when I know I had purely selfish motives. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:15AM
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SNORK SNORK SNORK @ Donna, Been there done that too. I am still debating over mulch or grass for my potager. Since I am in raised containers I am not worried about creeping grasses.I did have to fight that with flower beds at another house. UGH Also planned on planting fescue. I think it spreads by seed. Not sure I want to have to mow around all the containers and the edging bla bla bla. I am leaning more towards mulch for our situation.

I reconsidered fencing and could fence some of this off and make the dogs yard larger at the same time. Could be selective for the dogs because I plan on leaving the existing gate as is. The dogs will not disturb the plants in containers. I think they would enjoy the added run way.

It dried out enough to work over the courtyard side of the house but now it is storming again. Sigh. Guess I have to continue working inside.Back to painting.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 12:13PM
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