If there’s one thing I love about gardening it’s creating a planting space from the ground up. Here we have the beginning stages of a new startle garden located at the Tiny House property, Quail Grove. We’ve been clearing trees for over a month and during the process I was scoping for hours of sunlight and where I might want to spend time gardening.
Just so happens it was near the creek but before I could bring in raised beds we had to remove this massive Bois d’ arc tree. We burned and burned and Robert went after this tree with gusto. When it was finally gone, excitement surfaced, view the before here.
Begin with the 2 x 4 Raised Bed
I brought in 2 x 4 raised beds made from 2 x 4 lumber, building plans can be found here. This display is the first layout; each bed will go another layer up before we fill them with dirt and the corners will have rebar to secure the corners; this addition makes it less difficult to replace boards years later. Tall raised beds are wonderful and they make it much easier to garden for a few reasons.
- Fewer Weeds
- Easier prep and clean up time
- Maintains moisture
- Less bending over
- Makes a wonderful Startle Presentation
Filling Tall Raised Beds
I’m often asked how much dirt does it take to fill in tall raised beds. In my new book, Startle Garden I actually cover setting up raised beds in detail. I don’t use just dirt; natural elements are also incorporated giving each bed a dynamic boost that welcomes worm activity. These elements in addition to the soil include,
- Natural Matter
- Direct Compost
- Animal Fertilizer like Llama Droppings
At this property, we have dried tree debris everywhere, I mean everywhere. Between raking, burning and repeat the process I’m also using this matter to fill in the bottom of these beds. It’s applied pretty thick and will pack down after a good rain; then we can cover it with dirt. How a raised bed is establish and maintained can help you grow an amazing garden. To learn more, discover dirt simple here.
Startle Garden Number #1
My first Startle Garden happened last summer at our farm, it was such fun and I really enjoyed gardening with smaller raised beds because it helped me focus and not get overwhelmed. I’m a believer that gardening should be an enjoyable activity not something that consumes every moment and every hour of the day.
At Quail Grove, every homestead will have at least one Startle Garden similar to this layout. Can you imagine installing so many gardens? At first I was a little fearful about the idea of creating 14 gardens for other people. Now I’m excited and the best part is I get to share each one with all of you so I’m rather anxious to begin. How neat is that?
If you’re thinking a Startle Garden is right for you I have a fun Reader Challenge for gardeners, get details here..
How Many Gardens Will Carole have?
Back at our new homestead I plan to have at least 3 set ups similar to this one and I’m pretty sure they will all be near the creek. So far this is my favorite place and you know what else? I’m going to learn how to build a bridge over the creek so we can get to the rest of our 2 acres by foot without using the main road. Y’all it’s going to be awesome and I sure hope you’re following along.
Those additional gardens will be included after we remove more stumps, this seems to take forever. For now, I’m going to enjoy the beginning stages of this new garden and I can hardly wait to fill them with herbs and blooming perennials.
It’s possible I’m having way too much fun and Robert well he just enjoys seeing me so happy when we’re out there, it’s like this green heaven of wonderful everywhere I look.