This season my wife Andrea and I, along with our boys (Sam 7 and Ben 5), have decided to grow a vegetable garden.

While I know an awful lot about growing landscapes, I know very little about growing veggies. With the help of my brother, who I would consider to be a master gardener, I’ll be gardening and blogging about our experiences and be able to give some advice on what is working for us and what is not.

We just planted everything over the weekend (May 17 &18).  Most of things we are growing we started from seed; tomatoes, beans & cukes. Andrea added some peppers and lettuce that she bought from a nursery as well.

We are planting both in pots and a 3 tier raised bed. The method we used for preparing both the pots and the bed is one my brother has proven over the past few years.

They are set up as follows:

  1. Bottom of the pot has 1/2″ of Black Earth compost. This is a locally made (in Rowley), all organic bagged compost.
  1. We then added a little 3-4-3 Healthy Start organic fertilizer (a small handful). This is for the beneficial bacteria. The bacteria does a great job of breaking down organic matter to make it available to the plants.

**By adding this layer on the bottom, the beneficial bacteria will consume it leaving the nutrition on the top for the veggies.

  1. We then filled the pot to the bottom of the root ball with potting soil. We used an organic mix from Ferti-lome.
  1. After placing the plant in, we backfill around it with potting mix to the top of the root ball and then add another 1/2″ of compost and handful of fertilizer.

**On the sides of the plant we made 2 small finger holes in the potting soil and filled that with fertilizer. This will act like a fertilizer spike. You want to be careful to keep the compost and fertilizer away from the roots of the veggies to avoid burning them.

The pot should be good for nutrients for the season at this point.

The only variation I added to this method is I mixed in some Soil Moist into the potting mix to reduce the watering requirements.Stay tuned for more tips and our progress!