Garden / June 15, 2018 / .
Almost any plant will grow in a container if the container is big enough. Straw bales themselves can be used as containers for gardening. Be sure to provide enough water and food when gardening in containers, as soil in containers will dry out faster and nutrients tend to flush through them with greater speed than their in-ground counterparts.
Instead of rows, Jeavons and Bartholomew suggest planting in tightly spaced geometric patterns that will allow the crops to create a living mulch of foliage as they mature. This living mulch performs two of the main tasks that regular old dead mulch does: keeping the soil moist and suppressing weeds. In order to create this effect, however, you need to know how much space to give each plant. Mel Bartholomews brilliantly simple tactic is to set a 1-by-1-foot grid onto a garden space and plant crops into the grid. Large crops such as broccoli, peppers and cabbage require a whole square, whereas small ones such as carrots and radishes can be planted 16 to a square.
Vegetables need a good 6 or more hours of sun each day. Without sun, the fruits will not ripen and the plants will be stressed. Even if you are sun challenged, there are a few vegetables that can survive in light shade, lettuce and other greens, broccoli and cole crops. Vegetables also require regular watering.
A raised bed is ideally 18 - 24 inches deep, but if you are building your raised beds on top of existing earth you wilI have some leeway here. I have successfully gardened in boxes built over earth with only one foot of soil depth. You can find both detailed instructions for building a raised beds and multiple choices for buying raised beds here.