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Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I was talking with several people yesterday at the plant swap about my raised bed vegetable garden and how I did a few things. Here are some pictures that will help explain so of the things we were talking about. I chose this method for a lot of reasons but mostly because old short fat people shouldn't be gardening on their hands and knees and I didn't like the native soil composition. This is the first time I've done the raised beds and so far, it has proven to be very easy. Down side is that I have a great rototiller and can't use it here. I may have to go rototill a vacant lot across the street!

The main bed in the foreground has a planting area that measures approx. 19' x 4'. The one in the background has similar square footage. The height is about 18" to 20" from the ground.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I haven't read the "Square Foot Gardener" but I am trying my version of the concept. I have planted melons and other vines at the corners so they can drape over the sides and run along the ground. I tried to follow a companion planting sequence. In this pic there are nasturiums in the corners and you can see the X pattern in between the hills where I harvested radishes yesterday.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Next to the vines are a zucchini in the foreground with carrots behind and beets to the right.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Next are pepper seedlings rotated with onions.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

At this end are bush beans, spinach, cukes and a yellow straight neck squash.

Edited to add that there is a row of eggplants inbetween the 2 rows of spinach.

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 8:56 AM

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is "Tomato Row". I have 15 plants and 10 varieties. I'm trying to find a few that will do well here in the AZ climate. I planted in containers so they can be moved during the hotter summer months to a more sheltered area and hopefully survive until fall.

The raised bed in the background is planted with asparagas, garlic, lettuce, and more vines (watermelons, cantaloupe, casaba, butternut and very soon, pumpkins).

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 8:42 AM

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Phoenix, AZ

Wow Dan!! This is really neat to see. (of course, I have to mention that your spotless ground amazes me as well...I have debris and stuff everywhere, lol). I can't wait to see your garden in full production...you're going to have such a lush covering in there!

~Kim

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is one of the pole bean towers that I made using a tree stake, some bamboo and twine. Works pretty well and disassembles for easy storage and it's cheap.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
El Mirage, AZ(Zone 9b)

Very impressive, Dan!
Jane

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thank you Kim and Jane.

This is my therapy area...I need a lot of therapy!!!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

I knew your garden would be well thought-out and organized by the way you presented you plant gifts at the swap. :-)

Blythe, CA(Zone 10b)

Dann, I don't do veggies, but it sure sounds nice not having to pull weeds. Nice work !

Mesa, AZ

very nicely laid out and I agree with Kim, very nice and tidy. I always seem to have something strewn around somewhere... :)

Susie

Glendale, AZ(Zone 9b)

I have a spot that I've been wanting to do raised veggie beds in for a couple years now. I'm inspired! Starting today!

Phoenix, AZ

That cinder block planter is very impressive! Of course if you dig all that dirt out it would make a KILLER pond ;)

Mesa, AZ

LOL! Fishy!

Tucson, AZ

dann you're hired! that is outstanding.

Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

Dann that is amazing!! So how did you manage to have no grass or weeds on your ground?

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks everyone!

Marie..No grass or weeds growing in the native soil was a pretty good indication that nothing else would do very well either! It was part of the decision to do the raised beds.

Fishie...If I didn't have the pool I'd have a pond...especially after seeing those pictures of everyones in the recent pond thread.

Next I have to get a couple of hummer feeders!

Phoenix, AZ

Dann_L
Wow so neat and tidy. Perfection.
You must have a ton of Virgo in your chart! LOL

Tempe, AZ

A close up:

Uhm in the "hot bed" East-West orientation and from left to right: a teeny-tiny pineapple sage, squash, broccoli (underplanted for when its too hot for broccoli is tomatillo and watermelon), grape tomato and then pear tomato. Oh, and sunflowers lots of sunflowers.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:02 AM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:07 AM

Thumbnail by swoodson
Tempe, AZ

Wow, I'm totally digging your raised beds too, Dann_L. They are very tidy. I have raised beds too for veggies but they are NOT neat and tidy. LOL

I also am really envious of your watering system. I have to hand water mine. Can you connect a system like yours to a garden hose? I buried a seep hose under the mulch, but it doesn't really do the trick. Do you have a problem with salt build up on your system?

NOTE: This was supposed to post first.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 6:56 AM

Thumbnail by swoodson
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Nice! Whatcha got growin' there Stephanie?

No salt build up yet. But then the system is only a month or two old. I've been watering by hand while I have been building the system. I still have to set up the automatic metering device. I'll post pic's when completed, probably next weekend.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:00 AM

Tempe, AZ

Other side, (can you tell that I have a VERY difficult time thinning. I get so excited that something even came up that I just let them duke it out. I'm sure thats bad for my yield.)--Also, painted everything in sight purple after seeing pictures of Fishie's garden early this spring :-))

This is my "cool bed" n/s orientation shade in afternoon. I have from l-r: tiny baby basils, catnip, broccoli with squash, spinach interplanted with strawberries, a rose and cilantro with --you guessed, it more squash.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:06 AM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:10 AM

Thumbnail by swoodson
Phoenix, AZ

Looks yummy Stephanie! Great work!
I've love to get one of those squash leaves to make a concrete impression of! Loves those leaves! What is the grayish leaf/plant in the front center?
Susie

Tempe, AZ

You are welcome to leaves, BUT you must also take some squash! The middle plant is a bush morning glory, convolvulus cneorum. That's my roadside planting, I don't even water it.

Gilbert, AZ

Very impressive. I love the neat look.

Tucson, AZ

great job stephanie.

mg might already have a root in the raised beds. sneaky critters. LOL

Pontotoc, MS(Zone 7b)

Dann, very, very nice raised beds ! I am getting physically challenged by my neuropathy and that looks like it would work for me. Did you just stack your blocks up or how did you hold them together( spit, cement)?

What are your big black tubs for your tomatoes made from?? Those are wonderful !

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Wow, beautiful, DannL and swoodson! I'm just starting my veggie raised bed, but I hope someday they come close to yours! Well done!

Brenda

Phoenix, AZ

Stephanie...your beds look fantastic too! i'm so glad there's several veggie growers on here now!!

Question...have either of you done carrots in your raised beds? We don't have any in the main garden right now, but my son's favorite veggie is carrots, so I was thinking of doing a small "carrot plot" but instead of in the ground, doing it raised...what do you think?

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hi corgimom...I started with a shallow (4") concrete foundation embedded with 1/2" re-bar. Then it's just blocks and brick mortar. The tomatoes are planted in a variety of black plastic landscaping tree tubs. I have 6-7 gallon, 3-4 gallon and 6-15 gallon containers.

Hello Brenda...Welcome back. How did Tony do this weekend? After seeing the way your pond is progressing I have no doubts that some fantastic raised beds will follow!

Hey Kim...In the 1st 3 photo's there is a 2'x2' patch of carrots next to the zucchini. I laid it out in 2" squares and planted at each corner. I think there is about 150 carrots in that little patch. The planting directions on the seed packet said to thin the seedlings to 2" apart so I'm just running with that to see what happens. As they grow larger I'll thin out the baby fingerling carrots and make a little more room for the others to grow to full size.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 9:32 PM

Tempe, AZ

All my people yuck carrots so I've none, although, they'll eat the spinach out of the garden so maybe I should just plant them--Dann_L is it too late to plant them??

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Hi Dann, thanks for asking... he got second in both competitions (2 days, 2 competitions), and he hates second place, but he rode really well and he's in a more difficult class this year... so it was actually very good. This is so off topic, but I also tried to compete again this weekend, and my bike *hated* the high altitude and kept stalling, so I quit... getting the hated "DNF"... (did not finish). Oh well, hung out with the dogs in the Coach, took some good photos, enjoyed the scenery!

The raised bed I'm planting has been sitting behind our house in a neglected area for a long, long time. I came home to the tomatoes looking very happy, and on the opposite end is my day lily garden and I have a bunch of buds!!!!!!! Lots to plant this week as well! You all are inspiring me on the veggies!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Steph...I'm still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work, and when, here in AZ. It's so different than what I am acustom to. I say go for it and let us know how you do. Or you can wait until the end of August and plant for a fall crop, in which case you can still keep us posted because we would all like to know!

Brenda...I can understand Tony's frustration with being 2nd but the guy that took 3rd place is even more frustrated. :o) As for your efforts, it's better to try and fail than to have not tried at all. Hang in there girl!!

Inspiration for vegetable gardening springs eternal from Kim!

Phoenix, AZ

Stephanie, I say plant them now. I'm going to make a little raised area this weekend (especially for Wyatt & his carrots, lol)...they are pretty much a year 'round crop here.

Dan, I have a neat list of planting times that I made a few years back for a veggie seminar I got suckered into giving at the nursery. I'll have to make a copy for you...might take some of that guess-work out because we truly have about 10 1/2 good veggie months here!!!

Yay, I love talking veggies, lol

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Yeah! Post it! That reminds me that some one else sent me a planting schedule last year. I'll have to find that one too.

Phoenix, AZ

I know I've posted it before...I wonder if it was me, haha....

Tucson, AZ

please post it. thanks!

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