The Beginner Gardener: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Plans

The Beginner Gardener: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Plans

The Beginner Gardener: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Plans 974 729 Eco Garden Systems

The Beginner Gardener: Best Laid Plans for my 2019 Raised Bed Vegetable and Herb Garden

In the Garden with Jessica

It has taken me more weeks than I care to admit to plot out my raised garden bed plan. Between family obligations, an intense health regimen, travel, and multiple gigs, it’s hard for me to grab bits of time for garden planning. Especially when the Eco Garden is barely visible under piles of snow (we got 39 inches in February alone!). But the closer it is to spring, the more I’m anticipating giving this vegetable gardening thing a sophomore try.

My Main Goal

Last year was my first year gardening and I had my share of challenges. One of them was too many different vegetables in small quantities. I love to experiment, but for a first-time gardener, it was overwhelming. This year, the plan to is to grow fewer vegetables and concentrate on growing more of each of those vegetables so I can get a decent harvest. The kitchen is my haven, and I want to be able to add my own freshly grown vegetables to my cooking.

snow covered eco garden

This year I am growing all the vegetables from seed, choosing heirloom seeds from Baker Creek and MIgardener.  I love the idea of saving seeds; here’s some info on how to do it right. Last year I bought mostly starter plants, which got expensive fast. I am sure it will be more challenging for a new gardener like myself to start everything from seed, but it will be a great learning experience.

My seeds will be arriving this week, so I am going to try starting some seeds indoors. This feels overly ambitious to me, but I want to try it. Tomatoes and peppers should have been started weeks ago, but I’m going to go for it and see what happens. I also plan to start dill, basil, lettuce, broccoli, and kale in some fresh potting mix and coffee grounds. Choosing a grow light became a research project that I spent way too much time on before settling on an inexpensive LED clip-on lamp for my table. And what am I growing these seeds in? I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, and yogurt cups since New Year’s.

Beginner Gardener growing plants indoors

What I’m Growing:

  • Carrots (3 types)
  • Kohlrabi, both purple and white
  • Tomatoes (3 types)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Beans (2 types)
  • Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer squash
  • Herbs (lots of basil)
  • Beets (2 types)
  • Kale

What I’m Growing Vegetables In

I’m pretty pumped to take another stab at growing in my Eco Garden Systems Original Garden, an elevated raised garden bed that is self-watering and promotes better growth. Most of the herbs will go into the smaller Vertical Limits herb garden, but I will add some to the Eco Garden as companion plants to deter pests. I’ll also plant flowers in both gardens for the same reason, as well as to attract pollinators and add beauty.

After perusing planting calendars for my area, I learned that I will be able to direct sow seeds like peas and beans as early as next month. Last year I got a late start gardening and missed my Spring window for these delicious veggies, although I did get a fall crop of beans. Before I do any planting, I will need to replenish my soil since I unfortunately got some bad soil bags last year that hindered growth (cold weather snuck up and froze my soil last fall before I could take on this task). After coming across a video about worm castings, I purchased some to add to my soil when I transplant the seedlings.

In conclusion

Overall, I’m thrilled to try some different tactics in the vegetable garden this year. It will definitely still be one big experiment, but I’m determined to learn how to properly grow my own vegetables. I still have to figure out exactly where I will plant each vegetable and herb, but I will probably use my plans from last year and keep it similar. Crop rotation isn’t as important in an elevated garden bedbecause I’ll be digging out some of the old soil and replacing it. Ok, spring, I’m ready to garden—don’t take too long to get here.

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