Suppose you have a yearning for a small vegetable garden and are
limited because you live in an apartment or
in a condo and there doesn't seem to be any place available to plant
one. One option is to adapt a raised garden bed to whatever space
there is available whether it be a cement driveway or asphalt patio or
even an apartment or condo roof top. A garden can be grown virtually
anywhere there is space for a 4 ft. by 4 ft. raised garden frame.
The raised garden beds are usually constructed using decking planks
because of their immunity to rot and
insect damage. Because of their end use as decking, they necessarily
must to be very straight and have very
little warpage so are ideally suited for the construction of raised
gardens. The boards are 5-1/2 inches wide,
allowing for a choice of either shallow or a fairly deep garden
depending on whether one frame is used or a
second is stacked on top of the other.
Once the frame is placed on the hard surface, it is filled with bags
of topsoil which are purchased at the local
garden center. The bags weigh about 40 pounds and each contains one
cubic foot of soil. A garden that
measures 4 ft by 4 ft. and eleven inches tall would require 14 bags.
The bags of soil come in several types;
top soil, humus, potting soil, etc. They are all very similar in
texture and I have settled on top soil as my
We have selected a 5-2-4 nitrogen fertilizer which comes in 50 pound
bags. Since it is granulated, it may be
conveniently applied using a coffee can with 1/4 inch holes drilled
into its bottom and used as a shaker. The
plastic lid is fitted to the other end of the can. As each bag of
soil is emptied into the frame, a quantity of
fertilizer is sprinkled onto each surface while being raked smooth and
awaiting the next bag of soil. This way,
there is a strata of fertilizer distributed throughout the soil as it
is filling the garden frame.
Once the raised garden is full of dirt, planting may take place. If
tomatoes are to be planted from garden
center seedlings, make sure you provide a wire frame in order to
contain the plants as they grow. Once they
reach about a foot tall, they will require as much as a quart of water
daily to reach their full potential.
In late summer when the hot weather varieties have become exhausted,
consider replanting to have a
fall/winter garden .