Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Tire Garden Beds and upcoming garden club meeting.

Posted Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 6:58 PM
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  • Now, let's get back to what and why I am doing it. A while back I discussed having some so I could have little gardens right up by the kitchen. I don't have to dig down and prepare soil that has been compacted for many years and it is too small to get my tiller in anyway.

    Another reason is because I don't know what the soil might have been treated with BEFORE we bought the house, so most, if not all of the vegetable roots will be growing in soil I put there.

    I don't have the next problem it can solve but raised beds can help use an area that tends to get too wet for too long in the year to justify working up regular beds. These tires will generally bring you up at least 8" and won't rot with excess moisture. The tires also do not seem to leach into the soil so your veggies should be safe.

    Need another reason? How about wanting a raised bed where the soil will warm up faster in the Spring and stay warmer into the Fall? One caveat about that though, they dry out faster so..... put them where you can easily water.

    What? Another reason? Well, here are two similar reasons. You want to have a small garden in a special area. Judy just wrote and said she would be able to put it in an area that has more sun than most of her yard.

    The second part of that reason would be because you want to separate the plant from your other garden for some reason. Why? Maybe you want to save the seeds and don't want it to mix with others OR it is an invasive plant. Mint is one that you could control better but I am thinking horseradish since my mints have already escaped.

    I planted some carrots in a cut off barrel today because the soil is soft and deep. The same could be done with tire beds. Some folks stack them and grow potatoes which you want to hill-up to encourage more potatoes. Leeks? Yup, that could work too.

    How about starting a mini cold-frame right in your garden? When the plants get going and the weather is right, just lift the tire off and use it somewhere else.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 31, 2016, at 6:56 PM
  • See those nice, level, ready to plant tire beds in the picture? Well, this morning the three that I did not cover with wire were almost empty.

    I was running late, the rain was starting and I figured I was safe for a night. WRONG! As soon as I saw a muddy Spottie, I looked out at the beds. Arrrrgh!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 1, 2016, at 8:07 AM
  • My figs are putting out leaves so I am watching the weather pretty close. I don't think it will be a big thing, but....

    I need to reduce the diameter of the main fig "bush". It has become so wide that I cannot reach many of the figs, so.... I may dig some up for give-ways at the next meeting.

    I used to pot them up and use as door prizes, which I may still do, but this time they will be bare-root and need to be put in the ground soon after you get them.

    Not that night, but be thinking about where you would put a fig if you are interested. Full sun, likes moisture but not constantly wet feet so decent drainage.

    They can be trained as a small tree but our cold snaps could kill it back if you don't protect it in the Winter so I just let it become more of a bush from underground shoots.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 1, 2016, at 5:22 PM
  • I went to trim the old dead stalks off my fig tree and the first one I cut seemed a little green. Does your leaf out from the stalks or come up from the ground like mine usually does?

    I don't want to cut these stalks if they'll leaf out...

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, Apr 2, 2016, at 7:08 AM
  • Most of mine are coming out from the top. (Changed picture above)

    They were not killed back by hard freezes this year, but if a hard one come now, it will more than likely kill it to the ground.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 2, 2016, at 10:09 AM
  • Wow! Thanks for posting that Steve.

    Mine always start coming up from the ground early May...

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sun, Apr 3, 2016, at 6:06 AM
  • You're welcome and good luck to all of us that none of these cold snaps get more aggressive.

    This is a vulnerable time but even if a light frost nips the leaves, I don't think it will kill the stem.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 3, 2016, at 7:55 AM
  • I went outside to check on the leaves just now and noticed actual fruit coming out as well. They were visible in the other picture but only if you look close so I took another shot.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 3, 2016, at 9:11 AM
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