This post is sponsored by EcoScraps. However, all content presented in this post represents my own opinions.
One of the things I love most about summer is growing vegetables in my backyard vegetable garden. I shared our garden in the past here. Last summer, however, I came out to check on my tomatoes one morning and found they had all been severed at the base. My heart sank. Months of tending to these plants from seed to prolific producers destroyed by rabbits or gophers. When spring rolled around this year I was determined to take back the garden. Since the old garden wasn’t getting quite the light it should, I decided to start over completely. While it’s not finished yet, I thought I would give you a first look at the new garden and show you how to make your own raised garden beds. And you don’t have to start out with four beds, even a small planter on a patio can yield juicy tomatoes all summer long. Growing vegetables is a fun, rewarding, and tasty adventure.
Just as I was starting my new garden, a company called EcoScraps sent me an email to let me know about their natural and organic garden soil and plant food. Perfect timing! I loved what they are all about and agreed to try their soil. EcoScraps recycles food scraps into organic and sustainable lawn and garden products, and promotes growing gardens, not landfills! How cool! I know food waste is a huge problem in the United States. Here are some quick facts from EcoScraps.
*In the United States, we waste 40% of the food produced. That is enough to fill the Rose Bowl every day. It sits in landfills producing methane, which is 20X more harmful than CO2. *Between 2011 and 2015, EcoScraps recycled 75 million lbs of food waste. We are matching that number in 2016 with projected recycling of another 75 million lbs of food waste–this time in just 12 months. *Individuals can make a significant difference in the food waste crisis by changing shopping habits. Bagged salad, for instance, is one of the #1 foods wasted. Consider buying bagged salads only on the days you plan to use them.
While I don’t know our garden is ever going to be that dreamy, here’s how to start…
1. Build a planter box. I got this 4×8 foot raised bed kit (Amazon affiliate link) that took about 20 minutes to put together and didn’t require any tools.
2. Dig out about 10 inches of soil below the box. You want plenty of room for roots to grow, especially if you are planting taller vegetables like tomatoes.
3. To keep gophers from eating your garden, line the bottom with hardware cloth and staple to the sides of the box. I don’t recommend using chicken wire, as it deteriorates in just a few years. Hardware cloth is more expensive, but will last much longer. Sew together any seams with wire.
4. Fill the boxes back up with the native soil you removed. Top with potting mix.
5. Add plant food. All those fruits and veggies you will be growing will need nutrients to thrive. Compost helps add nutrients too.
6. Plant your veggies! We start some from seed and some from transplants.
Enjoy watching your garden grow! I think the chickens enjoy the view from Hen Haven.
I'm so glad you're here! I'm a busy mama to two sweet girls and a bunch of funny animals. I'm passionate about sharing the beauty of real food through plant based recipes. I hope you find many easy, nourishing, delicious recipes your family will love.