Raised bed gardening. Heck. Just the word gardening scares me. I have never gardened in my life, besides remembering 3rd grade science class, watching a seed germinate in a clear cross-section container. Then we met a friend of a friend who convinced us that a beginner can learn and reap the rewards of vegetables and herbs in just a few seasons.
So we began to think. We love using basil, cilantro, and other herbs, so heck why not try. Plus, if we get good at it, we can provide our own greens, peppers, onions, and tomatoes instead of buying it at the store. The satisfaction of growing and eating your own food added to the justification of the investment. In other words, being sustainable not only means recycling and using less energy, but also growing your own food and eventually composting (yikes!). It’ll also keep us healthier if we have to use everything that we do grow, thus going out to eat less.
Speaking of investment, it wasn’t that big of one anyways. If you can find some good untreated wood somewhere (store scrap, the woods, a friend, etc.) you may be set. Then all it takes is some soil, seeds, a little bit of love, and a lot of luck, for us at least.
I put together a small raised bed: 4′ x 4’10” x 6″ and set down some plastic to cover our pavement and landscaping fabric to allow permeability. I then purchased a mix of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 top soil from the recommendation of a colleague. I’m not 100% sure this is the best mix, but we’ll give it a shot. We then put in seeds of arugula, green onion, and some herbs. It’s a little late in the season, but we’re crossing our fingers something grows out of this. We’ll put in some lettuce and peppers once we get more confidence on how this all works. If it does grow, we’ll end up saving money on fresh veggies and herbs, and ultimately payoff our investment within 2 or 3 seasons.
If you have any gardening tips for the beginners, let us know. Most of all, wish us luck!