Rick's Amazingly Beautiful
Wisconsin Minibed Garden

(click on photos to see larger views)

Rick L. in Wisconsin recently sent me the following e-mails and photos. As you might imagine, I'm so pleased to see this kind of feedback on my gardening system. Thank you, Rick, for allowing me to share your comments and photos here. I find them powerfully inspiring, and I'm sure everyone who comes to this page will too!





Rick's First E-mail...

Hi Herrick,

We have emailed back and forth a few times. Last spring I bought your Mini-Beds on Plastic Reports 1 & 2. I also bought Report #3 last week. I have read all three reports more than once. I want to thank you for the mini-bed gardening system.

I, like you, resisted using plastic in my gardens until four, or five years ago. I started using the Dewitt fabric with holes burned in it for carrots and onions. It worked pretty good. Your Mini-Beds on Plastic Reports made so much sense and reduced weeding that I went whole hog with it.

I have two gardens. My upper garden is near the house. It is about 36’ X 40’ and I grow tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, carrots, herbs, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce and peppers in it. This is the garden I converted to a mini-bed garden. I have 67 beds in this garden. My pole bean cattle panel trellis are the only beds that are not standard 30” X 30” beds. See attached picture.

My lower garden is more traditional and is about 30’ X 60’ in size. I grow potatoes, onions, sweet corn, dry beans and garlic. Last summer I planted eight mini-beds of strawberries down there. I converted about one third of this garden to mini-beds for garlic and strawberries. The strawberries did great until the deer got in to them around mid-October. They really munched them down to just the crown and a few sprigs left on each plant. I didn’t know deer liked strawberry plants so much. I don’t know if they will make it through our winter, but I mulched them good, so time will tell.

I have to tell you my wife and I were more than pleased and impressed at how the mini-beds performed. We had a few things fail for one reason, or another, but it wasn’t because of the mini-beds. We had the best peppers we have ever grown last year. I put four pepper plants to a bed. Just recently I have read that you should plant peppers so the plant leaves touch when they are mature. Supposedly it increases the yield. I don’t know if that is true, or not, but last year our peppers produced like crazy. When the frost finally killed them and I pulled the plants, I had some peppers with one inch diameter stems. I’ve never had peppers plants like that before. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the mini-beds.

Our zucchini, cucumbers produced like crazy and lasted two, or three weeks longer than they usually do. Our tomatoes didn’t do the greatest, but we had plenty to eat fresh and canned enough to get us through the winter. Tri-planted carrots did good. Everything pretty much did better, or a lot better than the traditional row planting and mulching that we used to do and there was a lot less weeding work. That is a major plus to me.

We have quack grass here and it seems I’m battling that through out the whole gardening season. Not last year. I didn’t have any quack grass come up in the mini-beds. In the lower garden where I planted strawberries in July, I just had the area covered with plastic and the mini-bed frames pinned down. When I cut the plastic and cracked the soil in the beds, I did find a lot of quack grass rhizomes, but they were dry and appeared dead. They did not grow in the beds.

I could go on, and on, but I’m going to stop here. We are looking forward to a great gardening season with our mini-beds. I’ve attached a few pictures of my mini-bed garden from last year. I have many more pictures, but I think these show it the best.




It was obvious to me that Rick was a serious, long-time gardener. I was curious to know just how long. His reply...

How long have I been growing my own food? Well, the short answer would be, 44 years that my wife and I have been active, avid gardeners. 

My wife and I were married in 1971. I was active duty military at the time. I was discharged in 1975 and we have had a garden every year since. Sometimes not such a great garden, but we always got a fair amount of food out of them. Now our gardens feed us close to year around. When I go grocery shopping it’s mostly for dairy products (milk, yogurt, etc.) and meat. We have chickens, so we have our own eggs.

The other answer would be most of my life. My parents and grandparents had gardens as far back as I can remember. While I wasn’t involved very much with planting, or preserving the harvest when I was a child, they got me involved in weeding as soon as they could. Ha! Ha! So I have been eating home grown vegetables most of my life.

Now I start my own seeds every year. I marvel at the miracle of a tiny seed growing in to a healthy, vigorous plant and producing food for us to eat. I never thought much about that before I started growing my own plants from seed.

I’ve sent a few more photos. Every thing was grown in mini-beds.





Hmmm... that's a real nice Whizbang Garden Tote in that last picture (Click Here for how-to instructions). 

Here's a photo of Rick, at the end of the growing season, with one of those amazing, thick-stem, Minibed-grown pepper plants he mentioned in his first e-mail (it looks more like a small tree trunk!)...




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If you are not familiar with my Minibed gardening system, full details are in my 2019 Minibed Gardening Trilogy Report. Click Here to learn more.



Illinois Becky's
Inspiring Minibed Garden


Becky's Minibed Garden in 2018
It was late in 2016 when, after decades of trying so many other gardening methods, I developed a new system for gardening. In the beginning, I called it Minibeds-on-Plastic. I now call it Minibed Gardening.

At first glance, Minibed gardening doesn't look like anything all that unique. The casual observer would only see plastic mulch and some small beds. So, what's the big deal?

Well, the big deal is in how the beds are laid out and managed. I call it high-culture. High culture is all about focused attention on the health of the soil, and providing optimum conditions for plants to thrive. There's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

For the past two years I have had a Minibed experimental garden. I have put my initial ideas into practice. I've seen them prove to be sound, productive, and profoundly satisfying.

But what is even more satisfying to me is seeing others take the Minibed gardening idea and put it to good use. Such is the case with the garden in the photo above. Becky M. lives in northern Illinois, about an hour southwest of Chicago (zone 5). She sent me that beautiful photo above with the following comment...
"I bought your garden book and the first update and last year I converted my garden to minibeds.  Wow.  I had a few bumps along the road and I learned from them but for the most part, my 45 mini-beds were a huge success.  I'm 66 with bad knees and the weeding my traditional row garden required almost made me give up gardening completely.  I'm so glad I got your book and took the plunge!"
Becky's Minibed garden puts my garden to shame. Here are a couple more pictures from her first year of Minibed gardening (you can click on the pictures to see enlarged views)...




Here are some "before" photos of the same garden in the spring, after getting the plastic and Minibed frames in place...




And here's a final photo from Becky...



 Now, if all of that doesn't inspire you to get gardening this spring, I don't know what will. 

The way I look at it, gardening is one of the most positive and productive things you can do in a world full of such craziness and uncertainty. 


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With your Minibed gardening success and satisfaction in mind I have recently (just yesterday) finished putting together a new Minibed gardening resource...



The Minibed Gardening Trilogy is a collection of my yearly Minibed gardening reports (2017-2019). It has 130 pages and 250 photos. It explains the history, the theory, and the best practices of my Minibed gardening system. 

This new resource is formatted as a pdf download. The price is $17.95. But I have put it on sale until March 16 for only $12.95. Click Here to order.

If you want to learn more about the Minibed gardening system before purchasing the Trilogy, Click Here to go to the Minibed Gardening web site.


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NOTE: If you have purchased the previous yearly reports from me, you already have the first two thirds of this trilogy, and you should have received and e-mail with information about purchasing just the 30-page 2019 Minibed Gardening update (priced at $2.95). If you did not get the e-mail, contact me at  herrick@planetwhizbang.com and I'll send you the details.




More
Minibed Gardening
Blog Posts
Are Coming!


This blog site has been mostly inactive for a long time. After beginning as a Minibed gardening blog, I ended up using it to feature and sell my Minibed Gardening Reports. But now that I have a new Planet Whizbang Web Site, I've moved the marketing there (except for a couple links on the sidebar here). So, now I am planning to get back to blogging more here about Minibed gardening.

I'll blog about my own Minibed gardening, and I'll post blogs about other people's Minibed gardens. My next post here will be about "Illinois Becky's Inspiring Minibed Garden." Some of you have read about Becky's garden at my personal blog, The Deliberate American, but Becky's garden needs to be here too!

And then I'll be posting some great pictures and feedback from another inspiring Minibed gardener. Rick L. and his wife live in Wisconsin and they've been gardening for 44 years. Their Minibed garden is powerfully inspiring!

There is a spot over on the sidebar where you can sign up to get e-mail alerts when I put a new blog post here. You might want to check that out. Unfortunately, the e-mails you receive are usually not formatted for easy reading (Blogger has some issues), but when you get the e-mail you can click on the title and come right here to read and see the photos.

As for my own Minibed garden, there were a few ice crystals still in my Minibeds yesterday, but the soil was mostly soft and tillable. I used my Whizbang Pocket Cultivator to stir up the surface and plant 5 Minibeds. Two to spinach, two to shell peas, and one to Flashy Trout lettuce. All five were covered with solar pyramid cloches. Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.

Planting those 5 Minibeds was a joy. No rototiller was needed. Just my trusty pocket cultivator! And as I planted each bed, I logged the information into my free Minibed Garden Journal App.  I'm loving that app!

I'm very excited that more and more people are putting the Minibed gardening system into practice.

If you can send clear photos (not too small) of your Minibed garden, or of individual Minibed plantings this year, please do so. If you have a new idea that integrates with Minibed gardening, let me know. I would like this blog to feature other Minibed gardeners and their gardens as much (if not more) than my own.

We can learn from each other, and be inspired by each other's Minibed gardens. That's what this blog is all about. 

After two years of experimentation, I'm persuaded that it's easier to realize kitchen-garden success and satisfaction with the Minibed system than it is with any other gardening system.





Minibeds-On-YouTube

Dateline: 1 January 2018


For those who have not yet heard the big news, I launched a video blog on YouTube last week. It's called This Agrarian Life (Details HERE). I expect to be posting videos of my minibeds experimental garden on a regular basis. Here is another...


There are numerous other videos about gardening at My YouTube Channel. I will post the minibed movies to this web site, but if you wnt to see all of the films, you can subscribe to my channel at YouTube.



Making Whizbang Solar Pyramids
(A Most Excellent Garden Cloche)

Dateline: 2 May 2017

A single tomato plant, thriving inside a solar pyramid.

I've had a lot of gardening ideas. Some seem clever at first, and hold promise, but end up disappointing me. Then again, some actually work pretty well. Take, for example, Solar Pyramids. They are an idea I developed several years ago, and they work amazingly well.


I explain the story behind my Whizbang solar pyramid idea in my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners. For people who don't have the book, and who don't want to spend the money to buy a copy, I sell the chapter about solar pyramids as an inexpensive PDF download.

I am more enthused than ever with my solar pyramid idea after realizing that the unique solar cloches integrate perfectly with my Minibeds-on-Plastic gardening idea. The one difficult aspect of the solar pyramids was that they had to be sealed around the bottom perimeter with soil, but it turns out that is not necessary with minibeds. The minibed frame anchors and seals the bottom of the pyramids just fine.

The solar pyramids that I made, as I'm about to show you (with sewn seams), are no worse for wear after five years of use. The ones that I made by trying to fuse the plastic together with a hot putty knife have not held together.

The translucent superstrong woven poly from Northern Greenhouse Sales is remarkable stuff. It's incredibly durable and long lasting. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if these solar cones lasted me for more than 20 years. The plastic is UV resistant and it is only outside for a couple months in the spring.

So, I decided to buy a 10'x 12' piece of the superstrong woven poly to make more pyramid covers. I paid $69.60 for the piece, plus $15 for shipping. Total cost: $84.60.

However, to my surprise, the good folks at Northern Greenhouse Sales actually sent me a 12'x 12' piece. And I'm glad they did. I was able to get exactly 8 solar pyramid covers out of the 12' x 12' sheet, and I would have gotten only 6 covers out of the 10' x 12' piece. The point being, if you want optimal yield, order a 12' x 12' sheet.



In the picture above you can see the roll of superstrong woven poly, tape, scissors, and my pattern. I tell how to make a pattern in my Idea Book For Gardeners

I made that particular pattern back in 2012. When I was done with it, I rolled it up and stuck it in the rafters of my shop. It was pretty dusty and dirty but was still useable, as you can see in this next picture...



The only place I had to lay this all out was on my kitchen table (my workshop is too crowded). I taped the pattern in place...



Then I traced around the perimeter of the pattern with a Sharpie marker...



I proceeded to do that seven more times on the sheet of plastic, then I cut the shapes out with a pair of scissors...


The woven poly does not unravel after you cut it. Not at all. It's fused into a solid piece of superstrong material. After the eight pieces were cut out, my wife sewed the seams...




Here are the eight covers all sewed up and ready to use...



Here's a cover on the frame in my kitchen...



Here's a picture of one of the solar pyramid cloches in a Minibed...



Here's a picture of some snow-covered solar pyramids in my Minibeds-on-Plastic garden...



But, while the weather outside was frightful, the environment inside those solar pyramids wasn't so bad at all...



I have all kinds of seeds planted under the solar pyramid cloches.

Stay tuned for more details...

P.S. 
I invite you to read about how I think Thomas Jefferson actually invented solar pyramid cloches back in 1812. CLICK HERE to read the story.




Planting Into A Cover Crop
In The Spring

Dateline: 30 April 2017



This blog post may be the most useful gardening revelation I have ever shared....

If you have read my garden writings for long you know that I became interested in no-till gardening last year, and that I started growing some cover crops in my garden. The picture above is an example of what I mean. The garden bed on the right has a cover crop of oats and the garden bed on the left has a cover crop of mustard. As you can tell by the leaves on the ground, that picture was taken in the fall.

I did not have time to get any cover crops into my Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden last year. But, as I explain in my Minibeds-on-Plastic Report, cover cropping and no-till gardening will be an integral part of my whole approach to minibed gardening. So, please keep that in mind as you read this post.

If I were to till a cover crop (like you see in the picture above) into the soil at some point, that cover crop would be a "green manure." But with no-till gardening I'm not interested in expending the effort to till the green manure into the soil.

Rather, my objective is to grow roots underneath the soil and leave them in place. While the plants are alive, the soil ecology interacts with the roots, resulting in a healthy, LIVE soil. When the plants die, the roots in the soil die also and feed the ecology, while the biomass above can be utilized as a mulch, which protects the soil—again promoting life and biological activity in the soil.

Now, the other thing that a cover crop as I've just described it does, and the thing I want to emphasize here, is that it GREATLY improves soil tilth. It makes the soil more "mellow," which is to say, it is more easily worked. And when garden soil is easy to work, especially at planting time in the spring, it is a real joy.

This delightful reality was my recent experience in that oat-seeded bed you see in the picture at the top of this page. Here's a picture of that same bed during a thaw this past winter...


And here is a picture of the oat bed as it looked this spring...



If you look close, you can see some full-size leaves that were captured by the stand of oats in the fall. And I should mention that, as the oats were getting started, I sprinkled some shredded leaves between the rows. So the bed had the benefit of growing oats, along with some leaf mulch.

This next picture shows me digging a furrow into the same bed to plant some onion sets earlier this spring...


What you are seeing in that picture is a soil that is incredibly mellow and easy to dig in. In this case, a picture really doesn't tell the story like I wish it could. Suffice it to say that I have never had a spring-planting soil that was so easy to work in. I simply parted the oat-and-leaf cover and used my Whizbang pocket cultivator to fork a planting furrow under the string line. NEVER have I planted a bed of onions in the spring so easily. 

The soil tilth is far, far better than if I had just put a leaf mulch over it for the winter. I think there is a synergistic soil tilth result that comes with this sort of cover-cropping and no till gardening.

Here, for comparison, is another bed in my garden that had no cover crop, no mulch, and not even an occultation cover. This picture was taken on the same day as the picture above...


That barren bed is hard from exposure to rain and snow for the past few months. It needs some rain to get the pretty-much-lifeless soil into shape so the bed can be cultivated for planting. It will require a lot of WORK on my part, as compared to the bed with the oat cover crop.

The lesson here is clear and powerfully compelling. Cover cropping improves and maintains soil structure. It allows for very easy, no till gardening. I am persuaded more than ever that a system of simple cover cropping, along with no till gardening, in manageable minibed "islands", surrounded by an ocean of black plastic mulch, will make for a very successful Minibeds-on-Plastic gardening system. 

But the proof will come with my Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden as I commence to plant and tend the beds this first year of the experiment. Stay tuned for that.

Before I end this post, here's a picture of my garden taken a couple days ago. It is actually a picture of one of my elderberry bushes that I have bush-planted, as explained (for raspberries) in my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners. There are strings tied from each elderberry cane to the post.

The onion bed I wrote about above is visible in the background. I have planted three other beds (including that one with the hard, dead soil) to spring cover crops. One to oats. One to rye. And one to mustard. I am experimenting with each cover crop. I can cut them down and plant into the bed at any time.

Also, you can see some minibeds with Solar Pyramids in the background of the picture (some of the minibeds on the right have not been positioned and staked in place yet).

(click on any of the pictures to see larger views)




Planting Potatoes
In Minibeds

Dateline: 25 April 2017



Wood Prairie Farm up in Aroostook County, Maine has been growing certified organic seed potatoes for decades. They have an Experimenter's Special that caught my eye. An Experimenter's Special seems just right for a Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden.

Three seed potatoes from four varieties of your choice (17 different varieties to choose from) for $19.95. I chose the varieties you see above.

I decided to experiment by planting the three seed potatoes from each variety into four minibeds, as this picture shows...


I planted each seed potato 4" to 5" deep but did not cover it completely. I'll fill in the depressions as the potato plants emerge. Then I'll hill what soil I can (which won't be much) around the stems. After that, I plan to mound the bed up with shredded leaves. I have a lot of shredded leaves stored under cover from last fall.

Since I have some Whizbang Solar Pyramids, I decided to put one of them over each potato bed...


It may be that three seed potatoes in each bed will be too much. I also planted two other minibeds with a single seed potato in the center. One with King Harry and one with Island Sunshine. And I did not cover those beds with solar pyramids.

It will be interesting to see if the solar pyramids make a big difference. And it will be interesting to see what kind of yield I get with shredded leaves instead of a soil covering.

Growing potatoes in a group (referred to as a hill) instead of in a row is actually an old technique. 

I well remember the time my family visited Old Sturbridge Village in the fall, and in the garden by Freeman Farmhouse a man was about to dig up a hill of potatoes. He invited my three young sons to help. They dug up the hill, extracting the spuds using just their hands. It wasn't the first time my kids had dug up potatoes, but it was the first time they dug up a potato hill, and the first time they dug potatoes using just their hands.

Growing potatoes in Minibeds is not a practical way to grow a lot of potatoes. But it may end up being a practical way to grow some early potatoes for seasonal eating.

Elsewhere in my garden I have planted rows of potatoes for winter storage using a more conventional approach.




Planting
Potato Onions
In Minibeds

Dateline: 14 April 2017



I think spring is pretty  much here and I've been working in my Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden. Today I planted two beds with potato onions, as you can see in the picture above.

Those nine potato onion seed-bulbs weighed exactly 1 pound. They are part of last year's potato onion harvest. I saved the nicest bulbs for planting stock. It will be interesting to see how many pounds of onions I harvest from one pound of seed bulbs. 

Some people plant their potato onions in the fall, like garlic is planted in the fall. I may try that with a Minibed this fall. Speaking of garlic, here's a photo of some garlic I planted last fall in a minibed...


I have quite a bit more garlic planted on a raised bed elsewhere in my garden, but I wanted to get some in one of these Minibeds too. I'll see what kind of yield I get from 13 cloves in a Minibed-on-Plastic. As for the potato onions, 18 bulbs planted in two Minibeds is enough for this year. Potato onions are still a bit of a novelty for me. I will, as usual, grow quite a few storage onions using a larger bed elsewhere in my garden.

The beauty of these Minibeds is, of course, that they are so downright easy to plant and tend, as compared to any other gardening approach I've ever undertaken. The shredded leaf mulch I put in the beds last fall has protected the soil and provided food for the earthworms...



The earthworms are a good sign. I'm glad to see them. In the few Minibeds that I did not cover with leaves, the soil is harder and it's tough to find a worm. 

By the way, when I planted the potato onions in the two minibeds today, I did not cultivate the soil. I just parted the leaf mulch, dug the holes, and planted the bulbs. No till!!!

If you would like to learn more about potato onions, check out my Upland essays Potato Harvest 2016 and Potato Onions For Dinner.




New....
How To Make And Use
Solar Pyramids

Dateline: 5 April 2017


My recent post titled Solar Pyramids In The Minibeds generated an astonishing number of views. It must have been mentioned by a popular internet web site. Thank you, whoever you are.

That kind of interest got me to thinking that I should create an inexpensive PDF report all about the solar pyramids. If someone doesn't want to part with the money to buy a copy of my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners in order to learn all about this amazing gardening appliance, they can just buy the report.

So that's what I've done. The 11-page report has an introductory page, a couple preliminary pages from the book, and then the 6-page solar pyramid chapter. I tell how I came to invent the solar pyramid and how you can make and use your own solar pyramids. Then, the last two pages of the report have several color pictures of the solar pyramid.

I have been using solar pyramids in my garden for the last six years. They are well suited for germinating seeds and jumpstarting transplants. I think they can also be utilized for season extension too, but I have not tried that yet.

Cost of the PDF report is $2.50. You can order a pdf copy from THIS PAGE at my Planet Whizbang web site.



Part 2 Of
My Son's First Garden

Dateline: 31 March 2017

It's a recycled Bella Rosa Wines billboard tarp!

Click Here to go to Part 1 of this series.

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The 14' x 40' billboard tarp arrived yesterday, and there was minimal wind, so Robert and I commenced to get it in place after he got out of work. We had two perimeter sides buried before I thought to take the picture above.

Robert's wife, Danielle, is looking forward to getting some zucchini out of the new garden. She wants to make a zucchini relish that her mother makes. Excellent!

Zucchini (and other summer squashes) will grow great in a minibed-on-plastic. One (maybe two) plants in the center of a minibed will grow to overfill the space very nicely. Maintaining the minibed will be a cinch (a little natural mulch will keep weeding to a minimum), and there will be no encroaching weeds from around the bed to deal with.

Zucchini roots will be able to get the moisture they need from capillary subsoil moisture retained under the sea of plastic-cover surrounding the minibed. If there is a drought year and the zucchini plants show any sign of wilting, the bed can be easily deep-watered once a week using the super-simple Whizbang Bucket Irrigation concept I developed.

So, get your mom's recipe, Danielle. This will be the year you make your own zucchini relish!

Here's a picture of the garden area covered with the billboard tarp.




As you can see, the edges are nicely tucked into the earth all around. Wind will not be able to lift and displace the large sheet of plastic mulch. And Robert will be able to mow around the outside of the garden without shredding the plastic edges. 

Now the garden is ready for minibeds.

Stay tuned....



My Son's First Garden

Dateline: 29 March 2017


Robert is my middle son. He is 26 years old and works for the town highway department. He lives with his wife, Danielle, in the rural farmhouse where I grew up (from 9th grade on), which is only about 3 miles from where my wife and I now live. That's Robert and me in the picture above.

Robert expressed an interest in having a Minibeds-on-Plastic garden. I like that. He wants to grow cucumbers (lots of cucumbers), onions, summer squash, sweet potatoes. I suggested lettuce? No lettuce.

Robert told me he was willing to spend around $50 for a piece of billboard tarp plastic. So I ordered him a 14' x 40' piece of the material. The price was $45. There is an added cost for shipping, which is kind of a bummer.

I'm going to see if I can find a billboard company not too far from us and ask if they have used billboard plastic for less... or free. For now, we bought the plastic from the internet.

The billboard tarp is not here yet but this afternoon we dug a trench around the perimeter of the garden. You can see the trench in the pictures with this blog post. The trench is 13' x 39'. That will allow 6" of material to be buried around the perimeter. 

The land where the garden is going is behind Robert's house, on the edge of his field. He has big trees around the house so the garden needed to be out where it can get full sun for most of the day. That's pretty much rule #1 when you put in a garden.

The soil will NOT be cultivated. The plastic will go directly over the field grass and weeds that you see in the picture. After the minibed frames are in place, and the plastic is cut out of each one, I'll show Robert how to use a digging fork to "crack" the earth and loosen the soil. Then, the grass and weeds in the beds will be pulled. Any cultivation after that will be shallow. This will be a no-till garden, just like I explain in my Minibeds-on-Plastic Report.

At this point, I think there will be two rows of 10 minibeds on the plastic. 20 minibeds is not too small for a first garden. In fact, I think it is just right. 20 Minibeds can be very productive if properly managed.

For now, the objective is to get the plastic in place while the soil is wet and easy to dig. Then Robert can make the minibed frames. He thinks he can round up some used lumber to make the frames. If not, he can make a few at a time as he gets the money. Or, I see no reason why some flat rocks couldn't be used around the minibed openings. There are plenty of rocks around here.

I hope to chronicle Robert's progress with his garden, along with the progress of my own experimental Minibeds-on-Plastic garden. And if Everett Littlefield on Block Island can get me some pictures of his Minibeds-on-Plastic garden, I'll post them here too. I welcome pictures and comments from anyone else who wants to try this experimental (for now) gardening idea this year.

I should point out that I'm helping my son get his garden infrastructure in place. And I'll help him with the planting. But it will be up to him to take care of his own minibeds. 

I'm confident that he will not be overwhelmed with this gardening project (as often happens with first-time gardeners and a conventional garden). He's a busy guy but the whole minibeds-on-plastic concept is geared for easy manageability.