“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Raised Garden Beds

I like the new raised garden area.  It is, for the most part, WEED FREE (yes!).  My vole problem has turned out to be a ground squirrel (chipmunk).  Confusing .. I know.  But after studying the destructive habits and telltale signs .. and seeing a chipmunk, he is making holes all over the yard surrounding the garden.  The only direct damage inside the fenced off area are my gladiola bulbs .. half of which have gone missing .. and nice little mounds of soft dirt piled up in each back corner where they were planted below the wood chips.  And to think I scolded my dog while trying to nab the critter last week when she upturned a small woodpile.  I have found one dead (half eaten) vole as well .. that I have credited to the dog.

The downside to the raised beds .. onions are not growing well.  The top inch or so of soil does not retain moisture .. and yet it is damp deep down below the surface.   Next year I shall try filling the beds to the top with more soil so as not to cast shadows from the wooden sides, as this causes uneven plant growth to some extent ... and to apply some hay for moisture retention. 

This week the strawberries have ripened supplying about a quart each day .. enough to eat and make some freezer jam.


Pat said...

Poor Holly! Well, maybe the scolding was for a time he she didn't get caught!
If the onions are the only thing that aren't growing well, that's not bad at all.
Every thing seems to be doing ok for me this year, it's just sooooo hot! My green peppers got off to a rocky start, but have been looking ok lately.
Bet your family loves your strawberry jam!
I always have trouble posting on this blog, it wants to keep me anonymous too!

Lynda said...

I love my raised beds. Glad to hear you figured out your *vole* problem. We had ground squirrels...I had a fence put up with the bottom of the welded wire running in a trench so they can't dig into the garden area. My onions were fantastic last year, horrible this year...don't know what happened.

Monday's Child said...

Speaking purely from various gardening reading, and not from any personal experience: have you considered using some kind of wick to bring the water back up near the onions?

Mrs. Mac said...

Monday's Child .. I think straw mulch would do the trick.

Felisol said...

Mrs. Mac,
You are a real green thumbed gardener.
I think the green lays in industry and science, no more hocus pocus than that.
Hard work always brings results.
Except for my wild strawberries which the snails love even more than I do.
You should be proud of your results so far.