Our Garden Space

by Darla on September 12, 2014

in Reno, Nevada

20140909_163833Our garden has gone through a couple changes this year.   We started out with garden boxes and double dig the bottom so we had about 12″ of good soil.  Our challenge was keeping the plants watered.  Several different methods and still not much success for the amount of effort and money spent in watering.   Brian went to a church activity where the family had raised their beds about 24″.  We tried that and had more success – green plants as you can see in the garden on the right.  We also tried vertical growing beds to increase the amount of growing space.  Found the idea in pinterest.  It is okay.  It needs more research.

The raised beds were a success in productivity.  However, we found our garden was too small to get between the beds to weed and organizationally it was a bit crazy.  We talked about using stock tanks but the price was cost prohibitive and the sun would cook the metal.  Wonder what that would do to our plants?  Dad found a couple IBC totes on craig’s list for a $45 so we jumped at it.  We could cut them in half and then have 4 gardens.

The man we bought them from used them for aquaponics and just didn’t have room for more.  He put fencing around the outside so they looked neat and presentable in the back yard.   Something like the one shown below (problem 1 resolved)  He keeps the fish from year to year by cutting a hole in the ice for them to breathe while a his friend harvests them and buys new each year.  (problem 2 resolved)

A little research online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp6T_UIpzGI  for Rob Bob who uses wicking beds gave us some answers to our problems with watering.  Take a look around there are quite a few videos on this topic.  Some even hooped the top and put a cloth over to protect plants from sun but I think we could use heavier plastic to protect from the wind and extend our growing season both earlier and later. (problem 3 poten20140909_163924tial solution)

We liked the idea enough we are going to replace our garden enclosure with 8 of these raised beds then 3 Aquaponics gardens on the other side of the yard after the weather warms in the spring.  This one is prepped for an aquaponics base.  We found a deal on craigs list here in reno that we jumped on.  Guess we didn’t need to get so many at once but thought it was a once in a long time.  Turns out he posts every once in awhile because he has one a week to offer.

So we made them according Rob Bob’s updated video and planted a fall crop of spinach, swiss chard and lettuce.  We didn’t have any broccoli or cabbage ready to go so will need to wait for next year.  We’re going to see how long we can make these go.


Our daily 20140909_163829temperatures are in the 90’s at this point and the beds are wicking just like they should.  If you turn the soil over it is moist an inch down.  Dad fills the beds from the tube on the side every other day.  Eventually they will be hooked up to the watering system but not til the rest of the gardens finish producing.  We have more squashes, beans and watermelon to come.  It was a drastic decision but feeling confident that we can actually have a producing garden in Nevada.

We are counselled to have a garden.  We’ve tried to obedient to that counsel.  Guess the farm girl in me still gets excited to see green shoots coming through the ground and knowing that our dinner isn’t filled with pesticides but lovely produce that is good for us.


What does your garden look like?  What are your successes or challenges in your area?  Do you have resources for seeds or books on gardening that you love, please share them.

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