Raised Bed Gardening, Plant Container Ideas, Yummy Savory Garden Cornmeal Pancakes and more...
"We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our
understandings and our hearts." William Hazlitt
This year I put in a new raised bed garden over by
our barn hill that will be specifically for Neil's sausages! I
am so excited about growing and drying all the herbs. Raised
beds are such an easy way to go for anyone, especially if you
don't have a large area. If you want to have a no fuss, no
muss garden try raised beds, they require very little
maintenance and can grow almost everything!
Raised Bed tips on how to make & grow!
*The lumber you use should be at least 10" high or
higher if you want it. Although for proper root growth this is
*Do NOT use old rail road ties, no matter how many you get for
free- they contain a poison called Creosote that will leach out
into your soil, be taken up by the roots of your plants, nourish
the plant and you get all the by-product in the fruit that it
bears when YOU eat it! Yuck! Stay away from treated lumber for
the same reasons. (this pertains only to those who want to grow
*Your raised beds can be as long as you want them to be, but the
best width is 4' wide. With this width you can easily 'reach'
in from both sides. You never want to 'step in' your RB, this
compacts the soil, which makes proper root growth more
difficult. My farms RB's are either 4'x4' or 4'x8', these work
best for me.
*Find a sunny location in your yard and decide how many you
would like, or should I say how many would fit! I would not
have a stitch of grass if I didn't have boys that need 'play
*Fill your box with from the bottom up with a mixture of well
rotted manure, compost, old grass clippings, hay or straw and
top with a rich, loamy soil.
*After you have your box filled with all the plants you want to
grow, put a layer of newspaper (NOT colored print sections)
about 3-4 sections thick between your plants, top with a layer
of grass clippings or straw to act as a mulch. You will have
virtually NO weeding!
*Water thoroughly and enjoy your hard work!
For a very concise book on Raised Bed gardening I always
recommend 'Lasagna Gardening' by Patricia Lanza. I also
recommend companion planting with all your growing ventures. I
use Louise Riotte's, 'Carrots Love Tomatoes'. Both these books
will give you a great start to your gardening ventures.
Other nifty ideas for plant containers:
1. Old galvanized chicken feeder or waterers, tin
buckets, watering cans, old metal double burner caners (see
picture) enamel ware anything... be sure to put drainage holes
on the bottom- unless there it is well rusted and has time worn
ones, even better!
2. Wheel barrow's or old wagons can be found at any flea market
or garage sale. You can either put the plant pots directly in
the containers or fill em' with dirt and direct plant. Either
way, totally adorable!
3. Barrels or metal wash tubs are great as well. I have a old
half barrel at my back door with a bleeding heart in it. When
it is in full bloom it is simply stunning.
4. Old drawers, crates or even an old wooden trough (yes I have
had one). These work great in your garden's to add depth and
interest. You can plant anything in them.
The idea's are endless, if it has a hole to put dirt in you can
plant it, just depends on your taste! The key to successful
container gardening is proper drainage.
*One more tip- to save on dirt when filling very large
containers, recycle packing peanuts, old broken Terra cotta
pots, small plastic pots, etc. Put these in the bottom of your
container until about half filled, then pour on the dirt! They
will also be much lighter if you need to move them!
Here's a yummy recipe using Taylor's Cornmeal Pancake Mix!
Taylor's Savory Garden Cornmeal Pancakes
1 Pkg. Taylor's Bake Shoppe Cornmeal Pancake Mix -
follow instructions and add to batter:
1 cup niblet corn, drained
1/4 cup diced bell pepper (any color 1/2 cup diced red onion
1 small peeled &
shredded carrot, from
Willow Ridge Farm
1/2 tsp Taco Seasoning
1. Stir together all ingredients except oil.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop batter
by 1/3 cupfuls into hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side
until golden brown.
Garnish with fresh chopped Cilantro, sour cream Salsa !