How To Plant a Raised Garden Bed
Yellow Tractor is a consulting organization that coordinates amazing corporate events focused on growing food. They build and sell raised garden beds as a part of their corporate and educational initiatives. When I first connected with Wendy Irwin, Co-Founder and CEO of Yellow Tractor™ (photo right), we talked about the power of a non-profit division of Yellow Tractor called “The Yellow Tractor Project” which is a 501(c)(3) organization delivering food to the hungry by empowering communities to learn how to grow their own vegetables. Her passion to have Yellow Tractor™ partner with corporations around the nation that want to sponsor neighborhood garden building projects is sparking change in the old world mindset and encouraging new ideas about organic food and growing.
This season I tried out the Yellow Tractor 4′ x 4′ x 12″ Raised Garden Beds in my back shade vegetable garden. The Yellow Tractor Raised Beds are 12 inches high, which allow for a deeper planting bed than I had previously. My favorite shape is the Yellow Tractor 4′ x 4′ x 12″ Raised Garden Bed – it is square and can be easily positioned in the garden by assembling the beds “in place” where you want them.
First step upon receipt of the raised beds is to lay them out in the order you would like them configured. Above you see the back garden before I have weeded and planted any of the vegetables; ready for a new raised bed system. Below is a view of how the corners go together with the system – it is easy to hook the tongue-in-groove units together and push the nails into the pre-drilled holes.
Once the raised garden beds have been assembled, it is time to add soil. Above you see where I lined the beds so that the soil would not fall through to the gravel below the unit. Of course, you could put the beds directly on top of bare soil and it would be fine not to line them. Once the beds were lined I filled the units with Espoma Organic Potting Mix, then I mixed in Espoma Organic Garden Manure and Espoma Organic Garden-tone according to package directions.
Because I have the painted wall on one side of the beds and a full color large vegetable garden on the other side of the beds, I decided to go neutral in tones with the ornamental edible planting design for the raised beds — all green. Jung Seed Co. supplied the plants and they all grew well in a part shade vegetable garden location – one bed is celery, one bed is collard greens, and one bed is mustard greens. In the photo below you see that I have an upside down container. I use that to sit on so planting is easier on my back.
Growing an organic raised garden bed can be beneficial in many urban circumstances, particularly if there are problems with the chemical composition of the soil or if a gardener has no soil at all and wants to plant on top of a patio or driveway area. Yellow Tractor raised beds did very well in my test garden and I hope to plant them up again next season. This raised garden bed works and if you would like to see more about how I put it together, please watch the below video on the process.