It's Maximum Satisfaction
Vegetable Gardening!
(Full details are in this new Minibed Gardening PDF)

Dateline: 6 March 2018
On Sale For The Month of February 2018

(click photo for a much larger view)

One year ago, I published my 27-page Minibeds-on-Plastic Report #1. That report detailed the history, the foundational theory, and the hands-on framework for a systematic new way of gardening

In the spring of 2017 I put theory into practice when I started a multi-year Minibed experimental garden. My first year of Minibed Gardening was not a total success, but pretty close. I had some of the nicest garden crops (with the least gardening hassles) that I've ever had. And I've been gardening for nearly 40 years. In short, the system proved itself, and I can't wait to get started with this year's Minibed garden. 

Some people think that Minibed Gardening is nothing more than using black plastic mulch. And they think that Minibeds will yield mini harvests. Both of those views are total misconceptions. If you want to have a better-informed idea of what the Minibed Gardening system is all about, please check out this link: Highlights of The Minibed Gardening System.

After my first year of Minibed Gardening, I'm persuaded that there is no other home gardening paradigm that is so smartly-integrated, manageable, and downright satisfying. I dare say, when word of this gardening system gets out there, and more people realize how well it works, it's going to become very popular. 

That isn't to say that I think Minibed Gardening is the best solution for every home garden situation, because it isn't. But it's a joy to garden with Minibeds, and if the highlights of the system resonate with you, then check it out. It may prove to be the best gardening decision you've made in your life. With that in mind, I've put a great Minibed Gardening information package together for you.

Specifically, I've put last year's report (pictured below) and this year's report (pictured at top) together into a double Minibed Gardening Report. It amounts to 100 pages, 200 pictures, and whole lotta good gardening sense. 


(click photo for a much larger view)

I like to think of these combined reports as the next best thing to visiting me in my Minibed garden, where we have a wide ranging discussion about gardening in general, and Minibeds in particular.

Report #1 is 27 pages long. As I've already mentioned, it presents the fundamentals of my system, and tells the story of how I came to develop it (with profound thanks to Thomas E. Doyle). 

Report #2 is the meat-and-potaotes report. I could have easily made it more than 70 pages long after my first year of Minibed Gardening, but 70 pages is enough to really get you into the Minibed Gardening mindset (and off to a great start with your own Minibed garden). Here are some details...

Report #2 has 106 topic-specific "Bits," which are like mini chapters. First, I evaluate the status of the plastic mulch and other components of my now-one-year-old experimental garden. Then I delve into the question of whether or not black plastic mulch is safe to use in an organic garden. 


I tell you about Will Bonsall's cover-the-earth fertility phenomenon, and the 1876 farming book where he learned about it. I expand on the importance of healthy soil biology for gardening success, and how to properly care for your microherd.


I discuss the cover crops I used in my 2017 experimental garden, and the specific fertilizers I use (including Minibed dosages). I tell you about the organic-approved, bioinsecticide I used (my first-ever insect spray). 


I provide a 4-part lesson about hybrid seeds, and explain the legitimate reasons why some people hate hybrid seeds. But I also clear up some widespread misconceptions about hybrids, and tell why I love hybrid seeds (but I love non-hybrids too!).


I explain my routine for between-crop bed prep, minibed hoop cloches, corner planting, template planting, circle planting, catproofing, seed-starting, transplanting, and undercover mulching


And, of course, I provide detailed information (with photos) about planting schemes, with results for numerous vegetables, including...

Tomatoes, onions (potato, pearl, and storage), bush beans, peppers, cabbage, ground cherry, melons, celery, broccoli, Brussel's sprouts, cucumbers, summer squash (yellow and zucchini), New Zealand spinach, beets, carrots, parsley, garlic, strawberries, watermelon radishes, and potatoes.

There's more in there, but I'm sure you get the idea. 



Both Minibed reports have been combined into a single 100-page PDF download (10MB in size). 

One of the great things about a PDF file is that the PDF viewer on your computer will allow you to really zoom in on the pictures. The other nice thing is that you'll find clickable links in Report #2 for all kinds of internet resources, including my Minibed Gardening videos on YouTube. 

You can get this downloadable PDF right now by simply clicking the "Buy Now" button below. After you complete your payment, you will receive a download link via e-mail. It all happens automatically. If you have any problem with the pdf download, don't hesitate to contact me: herrick@PlanetWhizbang.com

Yours truly for Minibed Gardening satisfaction,

Herrick Kimball

P.S. If you aren't completely satisfied with my Minibed Gardening PDF information package, just let me know and I'll promptly refund your payment. But.... if you are inspired and pleased with the gardening system I present to you in this report, I sure would appreciate it if you let your social media gardening friends know about it. And I thank you for that!

Price: 12.95 

Buy Now







Highlights of The
Minibed Gardening System

Dateline: 10 February 2018

This is a single tomato plant in a high-culture minibed. 
The plant has no weed competition. It has lots of root space 
and a reservoir of captured subsoil moisture all around. 
This is a manageable and satisfying way of gardening.


Minibed Gardening is a simple, comprehensive, integrated system for serious, organic-minded home gardeners who are looking for a more manageable, productive and satisfying gardening experience. 

The Minibed Gardening system is synergistic—the system as a whole produces benefits that are greater than the simple sum of its parts. Here are several highlights of the Minibed Gardening system in it's current design...

1.
78% of the Minibed Garden never needs weeding because it is covered with one large sheet of polyethylene plastic, which serves as a mulch.

2.
With 78% of the Minibed Garden covered, there is 78% less evaporation of capillary subsoil moisture. This captured moisture serves as a reservoir to supply steady and sufficient water to minibed plantings. The need for artificial watering is largely eliminated, particularly in regions with abundant subsoil moisture (which would be most of the U.S east of the Mississippi). Except in a severe drought, the soil under the plastic is always moist.

3.
The covered surface of the garden (78%) prevents excessive rain infiltration. This translates to a moderation of extremes, such as the garden being too wet to work in after heavy rains. A minibed garden is never too wet to walk in, and the minibeds dry out quickly after a soaking rain saturates them. Also, worm holes are not plugged by hard rains . The soil never crusts over.

4.
When thick, UV-resistant polyethylene plastic is used as a mulch, the plastic can be left in place for a number of years. It is not taken up every year and thrown away. This equates to more responsible use of polyethylene as a mulch.

5.
78% of the Minibed Garden benefits from the long-known but little-understood "cover-the-earth" soil fertility phenomenon. This was noted in the popular 1876 book, Farming With Green Manures on Plumgrove Farm, and more recently discussed in Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

6.
A Minibed Garden does not require annual rototilling, or digging. It is a minimal-till system. Minnibeds are periodically aerated by "soil-cracking" with a 4-prong digging fork. Surface cultivation is restricted to minimal surface cultivation with simple hand tools. Minimal tillage results in improved soil structure and better aeration of the soil. 

7.
Air in the soil is essential to healthy soil and productive plantings. While it would seem that covering the soil with a plastic mulch will exclude air from the soil, there is compelling evidence to suggest that just the opposite is true. 

8.
Minibed gardening utilizes organic mulches in the minibeds and under the plastic around the perimeter of the minibeds. "Undercover" mulching (which is not practical in other plastic-mulch applications) serves to moderate temperatures under the plastic and feed the soil biology well beyond the confines of each minibed.

9.
Regular cover crop rotations in the minibeds are an important part of this gardening system. Cover crops are grown primarily for their below-ground root biomass. Living roots in the soil benefit the soil biology, and after a cover crop is removed, dead root mass in the soil feeds the soil organisms, Cover crops are NOT tilled under in the Minibed Gardening System. All top growth is cut off and used either to mulch minibed plantings, or as undercover mulch around the minibeds.

10.
Minibed gardeninng techniques are mindful and respectful of the microherd, which is the diverse web of life in the soil. A healthy and active microherd fosters the growth of healthy, disease-resistant, and productive plants. Minimal tillage, adequate moisture, cover cropping and organic mulching all contribute to the health of the microherd.

11.
Fertility is mainntained in minibeds by providing an optimal environment for the microherd and by periodically feeding the soil biology with small amounts of affordable, high-quality organic amendments.

12.
Minibeds are sized (typically at 30" x 30") for easy manageability and high culture. High culture means focused attention and optimum care in the beds. Each minibed can be prepared for planting, then planted, and cared for in a matter of minutes. The work is pleasant and satisfying. 

13.
Minibeds are flat-earth beds, not wood-sided beds filled with soil. They do not have the disadvantages of soil-filled  raised beds. The minibed frames serve two important functions. First, they hold the plastic mulch from blowing up in a wind. Second, the frames can easily accommodate numerous garden "appliances," such as hooped cloches or insect screening (the covering can be tucked under the frames to secure it), trellis strings, cat-excluding wire mesh, etc.  

14.
Minibeds are sized and spaced in the garden so that they are surrounded by a sufficient mulched (and weed-free) area, so that the crop roots have adequate room to range, and adequate captured subsoil moisture to draw from. 

15.
Minibeds are relatively small (and manageable), but high culture in the minibeds translates to satisfying yields. 18 pounds of carrots, and 23 pounds of onions from single minibeds are examples of what high culture in small spaces can produce. This aspect of minibed gardening is a focus of continuing experimentation. But thefre is no doubt that minibeds can be surprisingly productive.

16.
Maximum yield from minibeds is achieved by "perpetual harvesting" techniques. That is to say, by diligent picking of fruits (i.e., cucumbers and summer squashes) before they become so large that the plant considers it's seed-producing mission accomplished, and starts to decline. Minibed harvests can be significantly prolonged this way, and it is much easier to keep the fruits picked from smaller beds.







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 with the "Buy Now" button below. After you have completed the payment, a download link will be sent you you by e-mail.


Buy Now



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.

###

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.