Discover the superpowers of raised beds for nonstop thrills.
What do you want out of your raised beds? Everything! Once you’ve invested in raised beds, you want them to be the heroes of the garden world with superpowers that include pumping out produce with lightning speed.
So here’s the secret: Muscular gardens don’t just happen. They need the building blocks. Help them pump iron by providing oomph underground. That’s done with the right foundation, like Coast of Maine Castine Blend Organic Raised Bed Mix. Then, as the growing season wears on and when future growing seasons unfold, you need to add compost. No matter if you go with Coast of Maine Schoodic Blend Organic Cow Manure Compost or Coast of Maine Quoddy Blend Organic Lobster Compost, you will be furnishing the building blocks your garden requires to be productive. Be good to your soil: When you’re asking a garden to nurture multiple crops, you might need to give your garden some “snacks” midseason by top-dressing with compost. Be generous, but don’t overdo.
So here’s how to maximize production and make every square foot of your garden ramp up wonders: Create a work schedule for your beds with no down time. It’s easy. Check the number of days until maturity for your crops—that info will be mentioned on seed packets, seed catalogs, and on the web. Plant fast, short season crops such as lettuce, spinach, arugula, and coriander together in the same bed. As soon as you finish harvesting a row or block, replant seed for the next wave of scrumptious food to keep your raised bed on its toes. You can easily harvest three crops in the same raised bed during a growing season by chasing a crop rapidly with another sowing. Think of a relay race, and you’ve got a good analogy. However, keep in mind that several of the crops mentioned above prefer cool weather, so you might need to pause during midsummer. Or research lettuce crops that perform when temperatures skyrocket—options are available. Radicchio makes a great stand-in. Bush beans are also appropriate for multiple crops and they tolerate heat waves without complaint. As soon as you pluck the last bean, pull up the past crop and get out there with seeds to replant.
Peas are prime candidates for recycling space. They usually wind up their crop by Independence Day. Remove the vines and give that footprint to pole beans, melons, cucumbers, or vining flowers. Play your cards right, and you can get many installments for wave after wave of wonders.
How about maximizing space by interplanting? The more, the merrier. Try coupling spinach or lettuce with cabbages and brussels sprouts that fill in later. Or here’s another idea: To mix beauty and food, plant flowers like cosmos between later crops, like cabbage and kale. Also consider asking asparagus beds to do double duty. The space can host flowers as the asparagus greens shoot up into feathery stalks. And flowers can also be planted in waves.
Want flowers to keep pumping out bonus crops? Plant another installment of fast flowers like dill, ammi, linaria, love-in-a-mist, and nemesias for late season splendor. Order your seeds now for next summer’s wonders. Leafing through seed catalogs will make the winter months fly by.
It’s all about getting maximum bang for your buck. It’s easy and fulfilling. All you need is boundless enthusiasm and the right partners. Good strong soil and muscle-building compost will turn your dreams into reality. Start planning ahead now!
Written by award winning author, Tovah Martin. Photos also taken by Tovah Martin. Find her books and more information on her website: tovahmartin.com.