As many of you know, I am no stranger to gardening. I have been in fields planting, hoeing, picking and selling at markets throughout my childhood years. The typical farm life.
My late teens and early 20’s, I didn’t have a huge interest in vegetable gardening. That was the age where all I wanted to do was hang out with friends and go out. Taking care of a garden was long gone out of my mind. When I was 23, I met my other half. Thats when my entire mindset changed. When my husband, Jason and I got married that next year, I now had my own yard. No longer did I have Dad’s big garden to go raid. He would seed, plant, maintain and harvest. I knew that if I wanted that same fresh eating, I had to get back in the game and grow my own food.
The first year, I started growing all of my food in pots, because at this time, my husband and I were living on a very small city lot. Once we moved out to some acreage, then I had a pretty large ground bed. While having a ground bed garden for a few years and working it hard, I already started thinking about raised beds.
I did a lot of research on raised bed gardening. Everything I read made it seem almost difficult. So I decided to throw all of the rules out of the playbook, and just go for it!
Once we built our forever home, I had already had our Forever Property designed, and in that design lives, what we call today, ‘The Garden Oasis’. So I did it, I went for it! I had raised beds built and I was on my way to exploring a whole new way of gardening.
Having horticulture in my background, from growing up in a family greenhouse business, I knew that success for gardening always starts with the soil. In raised bed gardening, I knew that-that was going to be more important than ever. Especially after the first year, once the soil is most likely depleted of nutrients from the growing season the year before.
Since my raised beds are 2′ high (Raised Bed Dimensions: 3’Wx2’Hx14’L), I knew that I just couldn’t fill it all up with top soil. I know that there had to be layers in order to be successful for years to come. So the first year I filled up the boxes with 3 layers. Each layer had 3 ingredients, top soil, potting soil and worm castings. If you’d like to learn why I chose worm castings, feel free to click and read my article: 7 Benefits of Using Worm Castings.
I mixed those 3 ingredients together, tilled it in, and then added another layer. I did this step 3 times over. (65%Top Soil, 25% Potting Soil, 10% Worm Castings.) This took a large load of soil, and a lot of back work, but luckily, my husband helped me out. When we are together, we can accomplish anything! My first year, Raised Bed Gardening, was such a success!!! I knew that if I wanted that same success the second year, I’d have to make sure my soil was a winning mixture again. By doing that, I knew I’d have to do just a little bit of extra work, but boy will it be worth it!
Below I have a Video Lesson on How I create a Winning Soil the Second Year in my Raised Beds. Follow these steps, and you will be a Gardening Champion!
Raised Bed Gardening, ‘How to Create a Winning Soil’