Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Tutorial for Raised Bed Gardening in Galvanized Troughs

 This is a project that I have been planning since last Fall.  It is finally implemented.  How it will turn out, I am not sure.  Right now I am very encouraged and have high hopes for success. First, I drilled holes all over the bottom of each trough.  They should be at least pencil size or larger. I also removed the drainage plug on the side.  You must have good drainage for these to work. I bought three 2X4X2 galvanized horse troughs and one 2X6X2 trough at Tractor Supply last winter.

 I also bought some 2X4's and plywood to level each trough off.

 I filled the bottoms of each one with Styrofoam packing which I saved over this last year.  I also used plastic bottles and gallon milk jugs.  These filled a bit less than a foot in the bottom of each trough.  Then I covered them with two layers of plastic mesh.

 Next, I draped the interior of each trough with gardening fabric.  I temporarily taped the fabric to the sides to hold it in place while I filled it.  Make sure the fabric overlaps.  You want to keep the dirt in place and keep it from falling down to the bottom of the troughs.

 Then, I filled each one with a mixture of potting soil, manure, compost and some coffee grounds.

After filling, you remove the tape and trim the fabric down to dirt level.
 I bought these troughs to do away with small container gardening but found that they really just gave me more room to plant using the old smaller pots! I planted radishes and carrots in the some of the pots and I bought container cukes and zucchini to see if I have any luck growing them in pots.  I've tried growing them for years in my lower garden but something kept eating the blossoms.

 So far, I have planted a lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  I wanted to buy more troughs but I thought I had better try it out this year with just four before investing in any more.

 I planted  different varieties of all of the above and staked the tomatoes with cages.

 Eventually, I will lay a soaker hose across the top of all of the planters for watering.

I am going to be doing more work on these today and I will continue to show their progress as the season goes along.

A Long Drive Home But a Pretty One

Though the drive was long after the festival fail, we got to see a lot of very pretty farms and houses.

This entire farm was color coordinated.  Even the hen house was painted like the main house.

Many of the properties in this area have dry stone walls.


Many of the homes are made of field stone.

This is Dickinson University.

It has such a beautiful campus.

I love this barn.

The fields are filled with stones.  I am guessing it is from glaciers.

Amish buggy sighting!

And an Amish guy on a reclining bike....who knew?

Click for a closer look.  These cows were really stretching for their lunch.

Lots of the Amish in this area were riding reclining bikes.

You can always tell when you are near the Mason Dixon line. The towns all have houses right next to each other lining the main street.

We finally made it home and all I had to show for it was my jar of Dickie's Dills, home grown asparagas...

A quart of local honey,

And freshly picked rhubarb.  The honey made the trip worthwhile.  It only cost 8.00!