I love gardening, and I’m lucky to live in an urban area with lots of trees. The lovely forest in my backyard and most of my front yard means I only have room for a small 16×3 raised garden bed in the sliver of full sunlight my yard receives directly beside the driveway. Each spring my beloved little garden bed needs refreshing with new soil and new transplants. We chose raised beds because the natural soil in the area is black clay which is bad for gardening – it packs down easily, and hardens up like a brick when it dries out in the hot summer.
Following are the ingredients we use to create our ideal organic soil mix. We used 12 bags total to fill our 16×3 raised bed:
- 2 bags flower & vegetable garden soil
- 4 bags composted cow manure
- 2 bags Texas Native compost
- 1 bag mushroom compost
- 2 bags humus
- 1 peat bale
Prepare soil for planting by working out big chunks, and mixing all the soils and compost together with a hoe or shovel. Treat the soil mix with an organic fertilizer for plant growth such as high-nitrogen bat guano. In a few weeks, after the seedlings have taken root and started growing, we’ll come back through with an additional top-dressing of high-phosphorus bat guano to promote flowering.
We save money and conserve water with a drip irrigation system.
For our little garden bed we use 48 feet of soaker hose looped down and back around the raised bed 3 times.
My crafty husband connected the soaker hose to the nearest outdoor spigot with the appropriate length of regular garden hose, and voila!
It’s not too late to plant your spring-summer garden! According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, late April through early May is a perfect time to plant these veggies:
- Snap & Lima Beans
- Southern Peas
- Cantaloupe Melon
- Sweet Potato
- Swiss Chard
Happy organic gardening from RoT Organics!