May 28, 2010, Newsletter Issue #132: Guarding Gardens

Tip of the Week

You thought your raised garden beds would take an hour, just like you thought Christmas shopping would take an hour. But after sweating it at the malls, you've decided you're going to grow veggies for gifts next year. How do you protect your DIY raised garden bed from winter, storms (if you live in a warm but rainy climate), and the elements when you're making raised bed garden while the sun shines? Here are our above ground garden above-the-call-o-f-duty protection tips: Cover fresh sod or soil with mulch--it provides nutrients or, in the case of plastic mulch, keeps the soil warm.Be mindful of where water runs off--you don't want your soil to lose moisture. Plant mondo grass or ryegrass between beds. Woodchips are another alternative to protect the soil. Windbreaks of espalier trees, conifers and evergreens as well as flowering rhododendron and bougainvillea shrubs will protect your beds from wind.Urine and dried blood as well as pest-repelling plants will keep intruders from disturbing your garden.

While you're savoring the thought of avoiding the mall madness by gifting vegetables and fruit from raised garden beds, guard your garden well as the project gets delayed until after the holidays. You can work on your garden while the relatives are camped out at your house--just be sure to guard agaisnt the usual "helpful" suggestions!

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