Box Gardening - Knowledgebase Question

Richmond, Te
Question by luckyk98
April 23, 2010
I want to plant my first garden this spring and I have heard great things about box gardens...the ones that are above ground. I guess my questions are: Are these kinds of gardens a good idea? How big shoudl I make it? What veggietables will grow well in the houston area? I was thinking tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green onions. Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my questions.


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Answer from NGA
April 23, 2010

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Raised gardens are terrific! Not only can you control the type of soil you fill it with, but because it's raised it will drain well and warm up faster in the spring - so you can garden earlier in the season. A raised bed can be any size in terms of length and width but should be at least 18 inches deep so the roots of your plants will have plenty of room to stretch out. I think a four-foot depth is good because you can reach across the entire bed when it's time to weed or prune your plants or harvest your vegetables. But if you have access to all four sides, you can make it deeper. I've filled my raised beds with a 3-way topsoil. It is a mixture of garden soil, sand and organic matter (usually compost). It's light weight, drains well and the compost releases nutrients into the soil as it decomposes.

Most vegetables need a minimum of six hours of direct sun daily so place your new garden bed in a sunny spot. 'Celebrity', 'Dona' and 'Early Girl' are wonderful tomato varieties. They're short season, taking only 60-70 days to mature. The best cucumbers for Houston include 'Diva', Spacemaster', 'Suyo' and 'Sweet Success'. You can grow both green and bulbing onions without problem in your new garden. If this is your first garden, choose the veggies you and your family most enjoy eating. You can branch out into less familiar veggies as your skills as a gardener increase. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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