Two Questions About My New Garden:Depth and Mapping

Asked May 8, 2020, 7:19 AM EDT

Hello! I am starting my second attempt at gardening and recently purchased the raised garden kits at a local hardware store. After assembling the simple kits I realized a potential miscalculation - the finished beds are 7 inches and 10.5 inches deep and I used a weedblocker under both of the garden beds.What can I do to prevent this endeavor from wilting away before anything is even planted? How should I organize my plants - I'd love a resource that maps out or lists which crops make good neighbors for each other as well as which plants serve as beneficial protectors against predators and/or provide other benefits to my soon to be thriving garden of eatin'. Thanks for making this resource available; I can't wait to check out the YouTube channel as well.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- these look very nice. Landscape fabric is good for smothering turf and weeds to prepare for a raised bed garden. If the beds were >2 ft. deep it would be fine to leave the fabric in place prior to filling the beds. In your case, we recommend that you remove the fabric to connect your raised bed soil with the native soil. This will greatly increase the rooting depth and volume and improve plant growth. You may be able to pull the fabric out without removing the soil. If not, shovel the growing mix on a piece of plastic.

We don't have a companion planting map. Some key points:
Grow the tallest crops on the north side of the beds
Don't crowd plants too much; give them the space they need
See crop profiles for spacing information: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/crops
Use vertical supports for tomato, cucumber, pepper to keep plants upright and save space
Plant a variety of flowering annual and perennial plants around your garden to attract the natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) of garden pests. Some examples are thyme, anise hyssop, mountain mint, alyssum, zinnia, sunflower, and marigold
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/how-attract-and-conserve-pollinators-and-natural-enemies-your-garden
Jon