Gardening for COVID-19. Growing food during the Coronavirus.

April 17, 2020

I had a small garden before this whole Coronavirus thing happened. It was just starting to yield tomatoes. At out home, tomato soup was on the menu at least once a week.

Tomatoes weekly from the garden

Coronavirus and flooding.

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, my sleepy town of Waimea got hit with flooding. My poor tomato plants didn't make it. I watched helplessly as they slowly drowned beneath the murky red waters. I had to try something different.

Raised bed gardens on the cheap

I need to build a raised be to get the roots of my veggies out of the water. The problem with a traditional raised bed is material cost. I like most, am saving every penny during this very uncertain time of COVID-19. Local cardboard and wood mulch to the rescue. It's easy enough to get cardboard. Any store or business is trying to get rid of the stuff. Local municipal departments are a good place to look for free wood mulch.

Define the garden bed foot print with cardboard

Cardboard is used to block the sunlight from the grass and give my plants a chance. The cardboard is first soaked so it can absorb water rather than have it run off. Then, simply cover every spot. Make sure to overlap the cardboard so you don't let any light down or grass up.

Lay out cardboard to kill grass and make ready for an instant garden.

Add much to make your instant raised bed.

A raised bed will offer several things. I won't have to bend down as far to reach my garden, compact soil is no longer a factor as this raised bed is well over 12 inches deep, and my plants will be above the flood water if a large rain event occurs again.

Free mulch added directly onto the cardboard to create a raised bed.

Now for a little potting soil and compost.

Now i just need to add a little bit of potting soil and compost. I made little 4 - 6 inch craters in the mulch every 10-12 inches. Then, in went the compost potting soil mix. This took substantially less potting soil than it would have to fill an entire raised garden space.

Compost in small amounts to plant into. Think of making pots of soil.

Using less potting mix in this way. We can plant much larger areas than we initially intended.

This garden place is ready for water and plants

Instant garden space. Just add plants.

Time to seed the garden. We planted a few herbs that we had laying around. The rest of the garden was planted out with seeds. Give it a few days and we start seeing some greenery.

Let the food begin

Ah, the beginning of our garden. It's always a great sight to see little bits of green pop up from under the dark damp soil. One step closer to being food secure. One step closer to saving even more money. Everyone should grow a garden. I did it in a flood plain. What's your excuse?

Beans and squash are the first seeds to pop up in the new raised bed. Some of the seeds are growing directly in the mulch with no soil added.
Herbs are a great addition to any meal. This is the beginning of a productive garden.

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