Raised Bed Gardening Blog


Modified Atmospheric Packaging

Modified Atmospheric Packaging- MAP- or what's-on-our-organic-vegies-NOW!! A very informative article on what producers are coating our vegies with to make them last longer and look fresher. Check out:


It includes guidelines for REAL Healthful Food, including:

  1. Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers
  2. Not genetically modified
  3. Contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  4. Does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
  5. Fresh
  6. Did not come from a confined animal feeding operation
  7. Grown with the laws of nature in mind
  8. Grown in a sustainable way

Ya just can't imagine what they're going to do to our food next?!?!

Water-wise Gardening

One of the main reasons I developed the Grow Y'own Raised Bed gardening system with covers, was to reduce the need for using excessive amounts of water to grow food. The covers keep the soil from drying out so rapidly, and the whole environment works like a terrarium- once you deliver water to the system, it stays in the bed, condensing upwards to the inside of the covers, and dropping, over and over. The need for watering is highly limited. We water most beds 5-10 minutes a day, with 6" spaced 1/4" laser lines. These emit very slowly, drop by drop. In the Winter, we water about once a month- only several gallons at a time for a 4x8 bed.    

Here in the Southwest, water is everything. Collecting it is vital, and should be done whenever possible. And, the Grow Y'own system is the best way to use less, and grow more!

The Organic Path

Whenever you choose the organic path, you're supporting a system of agriculture that provides for the health of the soil, water, air, farm workers and farm families, communities where farms are, and the health of the planet.

7 reasons to go organic, and grow your own food supply year round:

  1. Organic fruits and vegies are nutritionally rich
  2. Organic agriculture reduces our exposure to harmful pesticides
  3. Organic meat and dairy may contain more healthy fats
  4. Organic farming protects the environment
  5. Organic products are processed without hormones or antibiotics
  6. Organic foods don't contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  7. Organic practices support animal welfare

So go organic. Stop the carbon footprint of shipping foods thousands of miles. Know your food supply- how it was grown, tended, watered, and harvested. Give the gift of food to others. Grow Y'own!!


Bulbs will be coming up here in Santa Fe this week. Time to start thinking about what you're going to plant this Spring and Summer.

Don't forget the bees!! Bees need flowers for sustenance, and flowers need bees for pollination, as well as your vegies and fruit trees. Here are some tips for attracting more bees to your home and garden...

  1. Plant native flowers
  2. Select single flower types for more nectar
  3. Set up a 'bee bath' for drinking water... a shallow  pan with pebbles to land on
  4. Use only natural pesticides and fertilizers...PLEASE!!
  5. Bees are attracted most to the colors blue, violet, purple, white, and yellow
  6. Bees feast on bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snap dragons, foxgloves, and hosta in the Summer
  7. Best herbs to plant are chives, thyme, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, and basil
  8. Plant edible flowers, for yourself AND the bees... violas, violets, nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, johnny jump ups, and more.

Ask Bob and his great staff at Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe about more info on bee-utiful ways to attract our most important pollinators!

Winter startup

Its February. This morning it was 18 degrees here in Galisteo outside of Santa Fe. The nighttime temps ae slowly warming up, meaning that new starts and wintered over plants will have a better shot at taking off. Its definitely not too early to get some greens in the ground- tatsoi, pac choi, kale, chard, lettuces, spinach, arugula, claytonia, mesclun and sassy salad mixes, to name a few. You can get all these and more at Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe. And be sure to start 'airing out' your beds on these warm days in the 50's and 60's. Better ventilation will help control those unwanted early aphids, and will give the birds something to feast on!

Ides of January Cold and Wind

Its January, and the wind and cold are playing havoc with our growing season. The days are slowly getting longer, warmer, and more conducive to growing, but we've still got some Winter weather ahead. What to do? Boosting your plants with a little Age Old Growth from Agua Fria Nursery is a good start.

Things aren't really going to be erupting for another 3 weeks or so, but in the meantime, they can be getting some revitilization! I was down in Albuquerque last week with a client, and he had rigged up an ingenious new cover of space blanket material, taped together, and then laid over the pipes, and under the Summer/Winter cover setup. Inside his bed, at 10 in the morning, it was 84 degrees, and he had bunches of basil, peppers as big as my fist, and tomato starts growing strong! We're going to experiment and make a cover out of R-foil, which is used under radiant floor slabs, to keep the heat of the slab radiating back into the house. Possibly, this will become a secondary solution to the worklight/pot/bulb arrangement. We'll let you know!