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Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Raised Bed Gardening
 

Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Raised Bed Gardening

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    Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Raised Bed Gardening Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Raised Bed Gardening Presentation Transcript

    • Angela O’Callaghan, PhDSocial Horticulture Specialist University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
    • 2/25/2013 2
    • Different definitions:• Area of amended soil slightly higher than surroundings• Discrete structure containing varied kinds of fill
    • Can be made of brick, block, wood, plastic, etc.Can be built to size, height and mobility needs of gardener 2/25/2013 5
    • • Plastic can look like almost anything, including wood
    • • Control over plants’ environment: –Fill, water, fertility management• Varied bed height for convenience• Few weed problems• Discrete size, easier to work• Smaller area to shade or protect from frost, when necessary
    • 2/25/2013 11
    • 2/25/2013 12
    • • Can be temporary or permanent• Must be filled with fertile, well-drained mix 2/25/2013 13
    • May be: •Unglazed clay (terra cotta) •Glazed clay •Plastic •Wood •Biodegradable material •Large •Small •Sitting2/25/2013 14
    • Wood  Good drainage  Rustic appearance  Can be expensivePlastic – Can look like almost any material Holds water well Low cost 2/25/2013 15
    • • How much $$ do you want to spend?• How much space can you dedicate to it• How convenient will it be• Who will build it
    • • http://www.cleanairgardening.com /raised-bed-gardening.html
    • • Lumber ~ $1/linear foot – Walls & uprights – 2” x 10” x length of choice x height of choice – 4” x 4” x height of choice – May need more uprights for long, tall bed• Hardware ~ $5 per upright• A 20” high, 10’ long, 4’ wide bed ≈ $125
    • • ~ $1 per• ~ 2” x 2” x 8”• Need ~ 420 bricks for –10’ long x 4’ wide x 20” high• Mortar (2) ~ $20• Cost ≈ $440
    • • Bed = 10’ long x 4’ wide x 18” high• ~ $1.50/block (16” x 6” x 6”)• ~ 68 blocks ~ $102• Mortar 2 bags ~ $20• ≈ $142
    • • Very wide price range• May mimic wood or block• Does not survive Nevada conditions
    • • Potting mix • Peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, soluble fertilizer• “Planter mix” • Chipped wood, composted manure • Field soil, peat moss,• Potting soil perlite • Varying amounts of• Other organic matter in a matrix
    • • Potting mix • Expensive, dries out quickly• “Planter mix” • Materials may not be fully composted, could burn roots• Potting soil • May contain seedling pathogens• Other • Varying problems, poor water holding, incomplete composting, fertility may be questionable
    • • A raised bed is a confined space• It makes sense to plant annuals (or plants that we treat as annuals)
    • • We treat most of the vegetables we grow as annuals, whether they are or not• Many of our common vegetables are not 2/25/2013 28
    • • Vegetables are often grown as annuals, although they may technically be something else 2/25/2013 29
    • • Lettuce• Spinach (not New Zealand or Malabar spinach)• Chard
    • Usually only want thefirst years growth –leaves, roots, stalks;second year itflowers
    • Flowering broccoliFlowering carrots 2/25/2013 32
    • • Artichokes• Jerusalem artichokes• Sweet potatoes• Tomatoes
    • 2/25/2013 34
    • • Annuals will flower and produce seeds once before dying• Biennials will flower and produce seeds once, and only if they have experienced a chilling period with short days• The desired part of many biennial vegetables is produced only in the first year• Perennials can produce for several years 35 2/25/2013
    • Express the gardener’s taste Sophisticated Rustic Urban Antique Eclectic2/25/2013 36
    • A pot is a miniature garden plot As long as there is sufficient room for roots and drainage, it can work 2/25/2013 37
    • 2/25/2013 38
    • 2/25/2013 39
    • Such as condensed foam • Can look like decorative clay without the weight or cost• Can be thicker-walled than plastic for better insulation 2/25/2013 40
    • 2/25/2013 41
    • • Insulation• Conserves water• Moderates heat 2/25/2013 42
    • Material Problem• Brick • Expensive, may need mortar• Block • May release salt • Expensive, may not• Wood withstand extreme weather • Expensive, will not• Plastic withstand extreme weather
    • • From P. Allen Smith’s website
    • •Certain vegetables grow smaller if planted close together•This technique is best for leafy vegetables•Less for fruiting vegetables 2/25/2013 46
    • • Most herbs are grown either for leaves (basil, oregano, mint) or flowers (dill)• Many can grow as companion plants• May be used as houseplants 2/25/2013 47
    • • Herbs can be somewhat crowded as long as there is sufficient air circulation2/25/2013 48
    • Even if you have a large space Grow aggressive plants in pots 2/25/2013 49
    • • Each plant removes available nutrients that it needs• In a confined area like a raised bed the soil or mix may become depleted• These need to be replaced
    • • Native desert soils are generally infertile• Soils placed around construction are generally worse• Gardeners need to increase fertility• Soluble fertilizers are commonly used – May be organic or conventional – Very convenient – Concentrated levels of nutrients (conventional) 2/25/2013 51
    • • Commercial all- purpose fertilizers have nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium• The % of each (in that order, always) is listed on the package 2/25/2013 52
    • • In addition to NPK, several other micronutrients may be present in product. 2/25/2013 53
    • 2/25/2013 54
    •  If you want to grow  If you want what is organically, then usually most conventional convenient, then fertilizers are a no-no organic methods might be too much of a bother 2/25/2013 55
    • Irrigation, hose, watering can2/25/2013 56
    • 2/25/2013 57
    • 2/25/2013 58
    • • Ongoing fresh crop of plants• Some plants are only used fresh• For instance, leafy greens• For continual supply, calculate: – time from planting to mature plant – amount that is planted at any one time – How long plant(s) will stay usable 2/25/2013 60
    • 2/25/2013 61
    • • How long from seed to mature plant?• How long will a first crop last?• How much of a variety does the gardener (and family) eat? 2/25/2013 62
    • • Have salad green that takes 45 days from seeding to maturity at 60 (early spring) – Plant on February 1 – Plants mature about March 18, but can begin eating on March 13 – If one planting yields 14 salad days, by March 27, first crop is finished. 63 2/25/2013
    • • Want to have continuous salad• Need new crop by March 27• At 75 plants grow faster, say 42 days to maturity• Count backwards six weeks from Mar 27• Begin planting by February 13 64 2/25/2013
    • • Plant earlier in spring• Grow later in fall• Grow longer despite seasonal changes 2/25/2013 65
    • • Right plant, right place• Properly fertilized• Properly watered• Receives enough light• Sheltered from excess light, wind, heat, cold 66 2/25/2013
    • • Mulch• Wall o’Water• Floating row covers• Cloches• Shade cloth 67 2/25/2013
    • • Straw• Pine needles
    • • Shredded wood