• Everything other than hot peppers. Questions, discussion, and grow logs. Cannabis grow pics are only allowed when posted from a legal juridstiction.

My raised bed at the Fair grounds

As some of you may recall, last year my fair project was constructing a raised bed on an asphalt parking lot and then trying to grow about 25 different veggies, usually two or more varieties of each. It did great until the heat and drought hit. Except for the cotton, my harvest was non-existent to meager!

Fast forward a year. Finally had time to attend it and after removing all the weeds - cutting most of them off at the ground), I used a pitchfork to turn the soil. Interesting...

To back up a bit, after the bed was constructed, I added an ~6" layer of creek bottom dirt, mature compost and well aged horse manure. Then I added about two inches each of the above and tilled it. I didn't finish getting it ready to plant until mid-May so no chance for a freeze/thaw cycle.

This winter was a bit colder with more precipitation than normal. We had a prolonged deep-freeze and then a few cycles where the top six-eight inches would freeze than thaw. A gardener's delight.

April and May were wet - to say the least. Record setters. Then the spigot got turned off and the last week have been like an oven - the ground has been baked. But much to my surprise, once my 10" tines pierced the top 2-3" of dirt, it was almost like digging in sand. The dirt turned over easily and except for that upper crust, fell apart into little pieces. Roots that were 12" or more below the surface stand erect. I can see horse manure (brown soil) and compost (black and rich looking). Once this is tilled and mixed together, it should make for a great bed.

I'm hoping to plant about 75 sweet potato slips (~ 10 different varieties including a purple-flesh one), 140 onions (six varieties) and two Nugget Hop rhizomes. What room is left over, I plant with Acorn Squash.

Being a former Boy Scout, if only for a couple of years, I'm also prepared for another possible drought with abnormally high temps. I have PVC piping that will allow me to water the area without a lot of watching.

Looking forward to posting pictures, but this year all summer and fall - that means it will be doing well!