For this project, you will need two 8 foot 2×12 planks (cut in half), 4 corner brackets, screws, weed preventing landscape cloth, scrap cardboard, veggie scraps, green leaves, green grass clipping or other green matter, leaves, twigs, dried hay/grass or other brown material, organic soil.
NOTE:(we made our raised bed 3×6 to fit our space. you can make yours whatever size you wish. 4×4 is easier to work without the need for stepping in the soil. and we used brackets we had on hand. choose whatever works best for you.)
Using your electric screwdriver, mount the corner bracket in the center of your board. Make sure it is straight and flush.
Attach the remaining board via the bracket, forming a corner.
It’s easier to do this if you have someone help you hold the board against the bracket, while you use the electric screw driver to screw it together.
You now have your raised bed frame.
Cut weed preventing landscape cloth a few inches bigger than the inside of the box/bed. You will need this extra cloth to staple to the wood.
Next, add cardboard you have saved for this project. It’s biodegradable and will work as a moisture barrier. Cardboard is considered “brown” material and works with your raised bed to provide nutrients like dried leaves would. Don’t skip this step.
Keep filling your bed until the cardboard is as even as you can get it. Make sure it’s flat as possible. You can add several layers.
Add green material on top of the cardboard. Green material is anything like veggie scraps, fruit peelings, green leaves, small amount of grass clippings, eggshells, coffee grounds.
We added banana leaves from a tree we pruned and other leaves and small twigs from pruning trees and shrubs. Don’t use large twigs or sticks.
Cover the cardboard as well as possible with your green matter. You are building a “compost” under your soil which will feed your plants for months and help maintain moisture in your soil.
Next add brown material: dried leaves, some dried grass, dried tomato vines, dried corn husks, small twigs. (if you don’t have dried leaves, you can use strips of newspaper or other scrap paper)
Break up any twigs or vines into small pieces. We walk on ours to crunch it up and press it down before we add the soil.
Add organic soil on top of your other layers and smooth it as evenly as possible. You will have to add more soil, in time, as the levels compress and compost.
Now your raised bed is ready for planting! If you’d like to make the most of your space, make a grid from twine, mapping off 16 squares, each one being 1 square foot. Plant your veggies in each square. You can read about square foot gardening online or look for future posts about it, here.
There are many kinds of cucumbers: picklers, slicers, gherkins and bush cucumbers. You can pickle any small size cucumbers. To learn how to pickle cucumbers, do a Google Search to discover how. Slicers have large cylinder-shaped fruit that are great for slicing and serving fresh.
You can eat raw cucumbers fresh off the vine after washing them or you can slice them and add them to salads. There or so many ways to use cucumbers. That is the reason for their popularity.
The size at which you pick your cucumbers depends on the variety. slicers are best when they are 6″-8″ long. Picklers are best when harvested when they are 3″-5″.
Sow your cucumbers in a sunny area in your garden in well drained soil. Cucumbers like warm and humid weather. They also generally need fifty to sixty days to grow and produce. Add an organic fertilizer like 5-5-10 to the soil before sowing. Add more fertilizer right after the blossoms form then again three weeks later.
Mulch the soil with hay straw when the weather gets very warm. This helps preserve moisture around the plants. Water the base of the plants deeply and regularly in the early morning or late evening. Do not water so much as to create a muddy mess. Avoid getting leaves wet since wet leaves are susceptible to disease.
Cucumber plants produce long vines that require lots of space. It is a good idea to place a trellis for your vines to climb during development. This way they are off the ground, precluding the introduction of soil borne disease and insects.
Cucumbers require lots of nitrogen. If your leaves turn yellow this is an indication of a shortage of nitrogen. Once the plants start to grow, it is a good idea to add compost around the plants for more nutrients as cucumbers need a lot of food.
Cucumbers are ready to harvest in 50 to 70 days. Use a pair of scissors to cut the cucumbers from the vine. This avoids damaging the plant and makes for ease of harvesting. If your cucumbers are stressed while developing, they can become bitter. This can be avoided by watering the plants regularly. If your crop is bitter you can cut off one to two inches of the cucumber tips. The bitterness is usually concentrated in the tips while the rest of the cucumber can be perfect.
Cucumbers are easy and fun to grow. Their crisp, juicy fruit adds crunch to salads and can be eaten raw for a refreshing treat. With care, your cucumber harvest can be a nutritious addition to your family diet
What do you know about organic gardening? Do you have some gardening techniques? If you do, do you wish to improve upon them? Is what you’re using working with your organic garden or against it? If you cannot answer these questions confidently, look at the tips below to help grow a better organic garden.
Pick the right plants. Certain plants will have an easier time germinating than others, and will guarantee a better harvest for the beginning organic gardener. Good choices include hardy varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, and herbs, but of course, you have to choose those plants which are going to do well in your climate.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
When you buy seeds for your garden, be sure to purchase seeds that are labeled “certified organic.” This ensures that your plants will be organic throughout their lifespan and that the seeds you are buying aren’t contaminated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Watch out for labels, such as “genetically engineered” or any mention of “natural” that does not include the phrase “certified organic.”
To keep air flowing through your compost pile, stand a large PVC pipe with punched holes in the center of your pile so the air flows up and down the pipe, and then through the holes directly into the pile. The air movement helps your soil decomposers create the heat needed to jumpstart the decay process.
Make easy work of washing your organic produce with a laundry basket. As you pick your produce, lay them in a plastic laundry basket, which works as a strainer. Hold the hose over the top and the water can make quick work of rinsing all the dirt and other matter off of your fruits and veggies.
Fertilize your soil with organic compost. Organic gardeners tend to fertilize their soil twice in one season: once prior to planting, and then again in the middle of a growth cycle. The best fertilizer to use is an organic compost, as it releases nutrients slowly unlike chemical fertilizers, which release nutrients in one go and then lose their effect.
Encourage toads to take up residence in your organic garden. Toads are a natural predator of many of the pesky bugs that will eat and destroy your crops. Create makeshift toad houses out of overturned broken clay pots and keep soil nice and moist to make it conducive to amphibian life.
If you plan on starting an organic garden, you should always properly cover your seeds. If your seeds are not properly covered, then they will not grow. You should aim to cover most of your seeds about three times as deep as the thickness of your seeds in order to ensure optimum growth. However, certain seeds, such as alyssum and snapdragons, should not be covered because they need a lot of light to germinate.
Choose a site for fruit trees depending on their specific requirements. Most fruit trees require 8 hours of sun per day. Morning sun is important, as it dries dew rapidly, helping to prevent fungus. Avoid planting fruit trees in a low spot in the garden where frost or cold air can collect. Some fruit trees are especially susceptible to late frost damage, and are better planted on a north-facing slope. This is especially true for peach, plum, cherry and apricot trees.
To help spread mulch easily, you can use a flat-head rake or a bow. If you are using a rake, you should use the rakes tined edge to pull and spread your mulch. Use the flat side of the rake to even your mulch on the bed. You will want to use a light push then pull action.
For organic fertilizer to use around the plants in your garden and flower beds, start a compost bin made from all-organic material that would otherwise be wasted. Pitch in yard clippings, leaves, vegetable peelings, eggshells and coffee grounds, turning the contents of the bin often. In just a short time, you will have great material to mix with your soil that will provide nutrients and nourishment to your plants without added chemicals.
Fill your gardens with flowers. You shouldn’t spend too much time and energy planting annual types of flowers as they will only last one season. Keep these types in a limited area of your garden. For larger areas, go with perennials. That way you will have flowers again next year.
In your organic garden, try using floating row covers to prevent moths from laying eggs on your plants. Floating row covers, which are made from lightweight material that has been specially designed to allow light and water to penetrate it, can be used as an effective cover for your plants to stop moths from laying eggs. This helps to protect your plants from caterpillar damage later in the growing season.
The best way to spread mulch on your organic garden is with a flat-headed rake. A flat-headed rake is effectively two tools in one. You can use the tined side to distribute mulch over fresh areas. When you flip the rake over, its flat side makes an efficient tool for smoothing your mulch and making sure it is distributed evenly.
Grow organic herbs to add some flavor to your cooking and brighten up your yard. Herbs make great landscape plants: add them to a bed or pot in your yard. They are wonderful to flavor foods you cook, offer fragrance and have medicinal properties. Herbs are very easy to grow and actually thrive on neglect.
Are you more informed when it comes to organic gardening? Do you have a gardening technique or do you have a better gardening technique now? Can you now use things that work with your organic garden? Hopefully, the tips above should have given you advice on growing a better organic garden.