Article by: Katie L

Fall of 2019, my husband and I built a garden bed in our backyard. The idea behind this was to hopefully save on our produce bills. While the initial cost of the construction and soils to fill it was high, over time I believe this has saved us some money at the grocery store. I plant it twice a year so we can have fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.

We built the garden bed at a size of 4’ wide 8’ long and 16” tall. We filled it with a base of just native dirt halfway, and the rest I mixed in Happy Frog Soil Conditioner and Happy Frog Potting Soil. I also added some worm castings, azomite, bone, and blood meal for extra nutrients.

Grow your own food planter bed
DYI raised vegetable planter bed

Twice a year when I remove the old season’s plants and before I plant for the next season I amend the soil and add more Happy Frog Soil, azomite, and worm castings to replenish what was taken by the plants.

There are two very important factors in gardening here. Soil and Water. Starting with rich soil gives the plants the nutrients they need to sustain the production of fruits and vegetables. Water gives them the energy they need to withstand production. My garden bed is on an irrigation system, I have watched it carefully to find out how often I need to water for my and in the summer it runs up to 4 times a day. It only runs for about 7-10 minutes at a time, however, I do have several emitters that spray water out to cover the whole bed and give it a thorough drink until I can see the water coming out from the bottom of the bed.

My garden bed is in full sun. As long as you are planting the right crops at the right time of year they can handle our Tucson full sun. There is no need for shade cloths draped over the plants.

Every summer I am so overrun with squash, I give it away by the bucket loads! I scaled back what I planted this year because we are taking a long vacation this summer and I don’t want to come home to a jungle!

The vegetables I planted were okra, yellow squash, and Armenian cucumbers.