The Greens Project

This functional raised bed produces a bounty of winter veggies.

It’s two days before the end of the year and the temperature is in the mid 60’s.  Clouds are alternating with dazzling sun.

This morning I walked down to see how my vegetables fared during our recent 19 degree nights.

My veggies live in raised beds inside the electric fence that encloses my nursery.  This utilitarian arrangement became necessary because the winter greens that I craved were being rapidly consumed on the Deer Salad Bar.

I decided that while I was making a move, I would devise a couple of new and improved veggie beds.

The beds are made of two courses of stacked concrete blocks.  They are 16′ long and about 3′ wide.

Sorrel and mustard mingle in my raised beds.

A section of cattle panel (which is cheap heavy duty fencing) serves as a trellis on the north side of each bed.

The beds have wonderful drainage.  They get watered when I irrigate the nursery.

If I’m feeling lazy, I can sit on the side of the bed to harvest my lettuce!

I bent 1/2″ pvc pipe over the top of the beds.  Now I easily cover the plants with canvas painter’s dropcloths when the temperatures plummet.

It’s a nice arrangement.

Right now I have parsley, cilantro, sorrel, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, mustard, Chinese cabbage and onions that are ready to eat.

Mr. Anole enjoys basking on a red mustard leaf.

I have young spinach, carrots, turnips and frisee coming along.

I will plant snow peas and English peas to climb the trellis in a few weeks.

It’s a continuing process.

The beds are a verdant oasis during the dreary winter days so I enjoy visiting and harvesting.

Today I scared off an anole lizard who was sunning himself on an Asian red mustard leaf.

I had no idea that The Greens Project would also provide a winter vacation spot for the lizards.


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6 Responses to“The Greens Project”

  1. yardflow says:

    They are wonderful, Leigh Ann. The concrete blocks last forever and I’ve actually been thinking about painting mine. We’ll see if I get around to it.

  2. LeighAnn Buie Wallace says:

    I’m gonna build some of these this year to extend my season!

  3. yardflow says:

    Helen, I considered crossties, landscape timbers, treated wood but did not want the chemicals or to have to replace due to rotted wood. The blocks provide good insulation and the holes are a handy place to stick the pvc pipe. I plant herbs that I use a lot in the block holes as well. As a bonus, we had a good many concrete blocks here and there and my friend sold us more that he needed to get rid of. So the few we had to buy were cheap!
    All in all this was one of my better ideas.

  4. yardflow says:

    I really enjoy my little veggie beds, c wig. Been meaning to post about them for quite a while but since they are in the nursery area there area always unsightly black pots around everywhere so it’s hard to get good photos.

  5. Helen Takacs says:

    Great idea, the concrete blocks. Wish I had thought of that. Railroad ties will rot in time and have to be sawed in half for the ends of the bed. I need to be able to sit down to pick!

  6. c wig says:

    Thank you that was very uplifting

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