This is one of my all time favorite deep beds Mike has ever built. I love that it’s built in the shape of a boat and it has a steering wheel. When the peas grow up it, they look like a sail. And most of all it’s so easy to sit around the edge to weed or plant or harvest!
1000% do I agree with Joe Lamp’l raised garden beds are best! I have spent some time the last few days helping Mike in the minifarm and I am know that I miss the small size of our backyard garden and the deep beds I could sit around. I am planning on getting down there and getting them going asap but yesterday hoeing potatoes and weeding made me miss sitting on the edge of his deep garden beds.
If you want to learn about planting in deep beds, I suggest you check out our free garden course
Here’s the section on deep beds from lesson five preparing your beds.
Are you wanting to plant a food forest in your front yard? Laura Behenna and I talked about her place North West Montana where her front yard is full of yummy delicious strawberries.
A blank slate
If you are starting with a place that has grass you want to transform into a bed, the best thing to do is start by laying down cardboard for a couple of weeks. You can also use black plastic. Then cover that cardboard with some organic matter. As much organic matter as you can. Eventually you will want to import as much high quality soil as you can.
We had to build new raspberry beds this year because our old ones finally faded away. Mike starts this bed with cardboard and then fills it full of dirt and some local peat moss we got a few years ago and a bit of aged chicken manure.
I spoke at length with Danny Swan about how to reclaim an old vacant lot into a community garden. They have had great success with this method.
Mike built a great deep bed out of an old boat. It will also take a great deal of dirt to fill. Are you starting to see why we started building compost right away?!?!
Here’s another deep bed full of carrots. I asked Mike what one of his most successful crops was and he said carrots, they always work. As you can see it’s not all that deep but it was successful. This was from 2013.
Protecting your beds
We have over 260 feet of fence that borders our house and then the mini-farm is probably another 1/3 of an acre at least of fenced yard that the deer can’t get in. But a couple of years ago, we let the chickens have access to the garden and now we can’t keep them out. So Mike built some temporary covers last summer to give the seeds a jump start.
Let’s get growing!