Friday, June 29, 2012

Gardening in the High Desert with Straw Bale Raised Beds and More...

Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden

Straw Bale Raised Bed Gardening

So many plants grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California and especially in Straw Bale Raised Garden Beds.

We have Haogen Melons, Cantaloupe, Eggplant, Red and Orange Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Habenjero Peppers and Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries planted in this Straw Bale Bed.

Squash and Watermelon in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden

Squash and Cucumbers in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden in Back

If you want to find out more about making straw bale raised bed gardens, you can take a look at the post I blogged about How to Make a Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden earlier this year.

Patio Garden Potato Planters

Potato Gardening

I planted organic sweet potatoes and yams in these Patio Garden Potato Planters that I blogged about earlier this year and they are doing really well.  We really look forward to harvesting them when they are ready.  I recently got some Korean Purple Sweet Potatoes that I'm preparing to plant as well.  They taste so yummy and I heard that they have a lower glycemic index...always good to watch that sugar intake no matter how healthy you are.

Tomato Gardening

Topsy Turvey Hanging Tomato Planters are a great way to save space and keep some of the creepy crawlers off of your tomatoes.  I made these using 5 gallon buckets left over from some of our horse feed.

My husband John, drilled a hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket for me to insert my seedling tomato into.  I used coffee filters  in the bottom to keep the dirt from coming out the hole and filled the bucket with composted soil and special nutrients like fish emulsion for growing healthy tomatoes and then topped it off with a little mulch and put the lid on it that John had drilled holes in to make it easy to  water them through.

I bought some burlap that I'm going to use to cover these hanging tomato planters with when I get a "Round To It".

Raised Bed Tomato Gardening

Here is another one of our tomato gardens that we made using another kind of a raised bed made with old bleached out telephone poles.  It is a good idea to make sure there is no creosote left in them if you are going to use telephone poles or railroad ties. It is not good to have creosote leaching into your plants.

We double dig the soil first and amend it with organic compost and then place the telephone poles.  Once we have the phone poles in place, we fill the center with all organic composted soil and special amendments that are great for growing the best tomatoes.  We use T bars and concrete wire running down the center of the garden so we can plant tomatoes on each side and tie them up to the concrete wire.  We used to make tomato cages out of the concrete wire but they take up too much space and we get a huge crop of tomatoes doing it this way.

I plant Marigolds among my tomatoes which helps keep some bugs away plus I put crushed egg shells around the bottom of each tomato plant. Most kinds of worms don't like to crawl on egg shells.

We also have carrots and parsnips planted among our tomato plants in this raised bed.

Gardening on  No Climb Fencing

Pumpkins and Runner Beans Growing on No Climb Fencing
We use all sorts of places on our ranch to plant things.  Of course we fence off the chickens, alpacas and horses so they can't eat our precious crops.

Antique Yard Art in the Garden

Antique Yard Art in the Garden Bed
It is always fun for me to add a little "Yard Art" in and around our various gardens.

Here's a few antiques among the black berries and a giant pumpkin plant we planted.  Be sure to visit my blog often for more garden photos and stories.

There is already a giant pumpkin forming on the backside of this fence in a catch pen area of our alpaca pens.  Be sure to check back for photos of this giant pumpkin growing.

I'll be blogging more soon about berries, fruits and other vegetables we've planted that grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California.

Feel free to comment on this post about Gardening in the High Desert.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous gardening, Marti!! I love it. I'm getting ready to do a different type of raised bed gardening with an old twin bed frame we found. This will be a fun adventure. I could surely use any advice you might have for this.

  2. Your twin bed frame sounds great for a raised bed! I want to see it when you have it planted!