Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada & How to make a Raised Garden

After just about killing ourselves over those bloody junipers and planting the lilac and weeping cherry, I’ve turned my sights to the back yard and making my raised vegetable beds!

In the very back of Sunset’s WESTERN LANDSCAPING BOOK, pages 404-405, in the Materials and Techniques chapter, there is a section on Building A Raised Bed.

Raising your garden above the ground can solve some of the most frustrating problems gardeners face. An easy-to-build bed makes it possible for plants to thrive where soil is poor, wildlife is hungry, or the growing season is short. And if you need easy access to your plants – due to a disability or simply to eliminate back-bending labor – you can sit on the edge of the bed and garden in comfort.
Fill the bed with the best soil you can. Good soil means that plants can be placed closer together, making a small area more productive. Line the bottom of the bed with wire screening to keep out pests, or fit it with a PVC framework for bird netting.
A raised bed can be any size, but if its more than 4 feet wide it will be difficult to reach the middle from either side. If the sides will double as benches, build the frame 18-24 inches high.

We have a small backyard ~ with a huge front and side yard. So much rearranging of the landscaping to do! OY! Here’s what I have to work with out back ~ The soil that has been turned was going to be sod…but I’ve decided to put pavers there instead. The compacted ground area behind will be where the raised garden bed will go. Behind those rocks is a an area of about two feet wide to the fence…that will be where I plant the corn.

A couple of weeks ago The State of Nevada Employees Council had an Open House at The Joe here on campus and I signed up for a lot of information from the University of Nevada's Washoe County Cooperation Extension office. I used to be in 4-H out in Washoe Valley…so I knew they were loaded with great information. I highly recommend them for all us in Northern Nevada and the Eastern California area! I posted a link to all of their free publications below.

Here are some of the pamplets I asked for:
Vegetable Varieties For Northern Nevada
A Quick Guide to Composting
Nevada Soils – Worth the Toil
Urban Forestry Tree Planting Practices for Nevada
The All Seeing, All Knowing, Lawn Care Manuel for Northern Nevada
Roses for Reno and the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra Area
Spring Planted Bulbs Boast Beautiful Blooms
Hardy, Drought-Tolerant and Moderately Salt-tolerant Shurbs and Vines for Northern Nevada
Seven Ways to Make Your Trees and Shurbs Drought Resistant

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS FOR FREE

The Vegetable Varieties for Northern Nevada is four pages long and gives a list of all veggie varieties that are great for planting here with the planting dates. Great comments on which are better for canning, yields, rust resistance, maturing, indoor growing, storage values, disease resistant, most popluar, etc.

ps: For all of you in the Reno/Sparks area…or those of you who will be in town on May 17th ~ at the Washoe County Extension Office on Mill Street there will be a plant sale that morning. 🙂

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Back-yard Garden & Yard Design Ideas

It’s almost April and I probably should have been thinking about this much earlier (actually the thinking was being done…just not the action!), but I really want to put in a garden this year.

We bought our house in the Fall of 2006. It was built in 1915 ~ we have a very large front & side yard, but a small back yard. There is a covered patio and an area that was full of rocks. We removed the rocks last summer and I started prepping the dirt for sod. My thinking at the time was for half sod and half raised garden. But then I started thinking (very bad thing for me sometimes)…we have a crap-full of grass out front, maybe I’ll lay pavers and still put in my raised garden. And along the side fence (next to the church) ~ plant berry bushes!

backyard prep
(yes…I know I can rent a tiller ~ but I really need the exercise!)

My garden at the old house looked something like this ~

I don’t want the box so big this time…thinking of at least two long thinner ones, with room to walk in between the two.

These are pretty cool…only not squared ~

So I guess the question is ~ to sod or to pave? What are your thoughts?