We’ve been enjoying fresh kale on our sandwiches for lunch the past few days. It has been amazing. It’s far enough along now that we can harvest a mess of it for an actual meal. We’ve discussed a white beans and kale but haven’t decided. Kale is in the grow bed on the left.
We are a little short on room for growing all our vertical crops and decided to put in two more of the 30 foot long by 18 inch wide Mittleider grow beds. These grow beds will run north and south. To the west side of these two beds there will be a couple more grow beds for additional crops that won’t be grown vertically.
For grow beds/boxes that run east and west you want to put the tall crops to the north end so they don’t shadow out the shorter crops. For beds running north and south you’ll want those same tall crops to the east for the same reason.
Below you will see the garden area that’s been tilled and read to get started in the first picture. There will be a 5 foot wide buffer zone on the outside edge of our Mittleider garden with a 3.5 foot space between each 18″ wide bed. The portion of the garden to the right that has grass in it will be tilled several times and all that grass will be removed.
Here you see the t-posts going in that will form the support for our vertical gardening. They’re being placed every 10 feet, or 4 of these 4x4s in each 30 foot grow bed. Once the second grow bed t-posts are in place we will put another 8 foot long 4×4 on top to span the distance between each row.
UPDATE 20 May 2016 –
Just a couple pictures of more progress. We need to tamp the posts in a little more as it dries out a little. The support wires for both of the grow beds under this structure are up and tight. One of the two grow beds is formed up and will be finished tomorrow. Once done we’ve got another 18 tomatoes ready to go in the ground.
After this project is done we will continue to extend the grow beds to the right for a few other crops that are currently in seedling flats. Just like in our grow box for sweet potatoes, there will be a 5 foot border around these grow beds to help control insects and weeds.
In just a few hours a class of beginners in this Mittleider gardening course were able to transform this bare patch of ground into a bunch of Mittleider grow beds. The raised bed allows for proper drainage. The edges of the grow bed have a raised ridge to contain water during daily watering. Watering just the grow beds and not the entire garden reduces your water consumption and helps to cut down on weeds.