This is a great idea! The price is certainly reasonable but the problem for me is the hired hand. Ok, so I married the hired hand! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Living in Las Vegas there are many extra steps that I need to take in order to have a semi-productive garden. Last year we built a raised bed using cinder blocks. I went 2 courses high in a semi-futile effort to keep my dogs out. Yeah right.... So this bed is build against an existing block wall, roughly 3½ ft by 20 some feet. We are on the sunny side of the street so get beat up from about 9am to 5-6pm. Last year I tried to plant lower growing veggies under the taller ones to shade them as much as possible. That sort of worked but we ended up buying the shade cloth at Star Nursery and it's been wonderful. Let's filtered light and the non-existent rain through. We also put tarps up on the side to extend our growing season. Technically I can start seeds in the ground in Feb and with luck continue thru Oct. So many seeds and bulbs end up in the frig or freezer to simulate winter.
This year I somehow stumbled onto verticle gardening on youtube. Now I haven't followed everything to the letter but OMG what a difference it's made. I can nip the suckers, think out unnecessary leaves allowing water, wind and light through w/o damage to the plants.
Our native soil is bad. It's the desert after all! I started the block bed with wood chips for drainage in the bottom, then mixed steer manure, gro-mulch and native soil together in an effort to give my precious seedlings to grow. Don't know if it's good or bad but I save coffee grounds, teabags and egg shells as a sort of fertilizer. I would love a compost pile but dogs are a major problem and bugs a secondary one. With my physical limitations I wouldn't be able to turn the compost over. I grew up in Riverton NJ and if we needed good compost or worms we would go to the dumping area by the creek (pronounced crick) and get what we needed for free. Lived in Riverside and everything grew! But the desert....not so much.
Our winter project is this....hubby has been bringing home new pallets. We must have about 40 of them! They are small not the size you usually see. Fresh green untreated lumber. We are going to tear these down and make raised beds from them. High enough not to hurt my back, wide enough that I can reach w/o hurting myself, and far enough apart that the lawnmower can pass by and shaded by a few trees. So for me, raised beds = good. Cinder block beds = heavy.
And a tip. Here the heat of the soil will beat up on the plants. Two things I have used is bags of bedding used for horses. Usually pretty cheap and good for the soil. And.....shredded paper! Looks like it snowed in my garden but is a great weed block, retains moisture and makes happy productive veggies!
Hey Mike! How about a forum for introductions and/or questions and tips?
This is the start of my garden last year. Much bigger and badder this year!