New raised bed planter!

We replaced an old 6x2x3’ tall galvanized stock tank and made a raised planter out of it, to my delight. DH drilled a bunch of slits in the bottom for drainage, set it up on a layer of bricks for drainage, put in about an 8" layer of big river rock, follwed by a 3" layer of coarse gravel, half filled it with old used potting soil, then the rest of the way with bulk potting soil and bat guano. I plan to add a bag or two of deodorized manure (less hot than regular bagged manure). I got three yards of white nylon netting that I plan to anchor down over the top with magnets after I plant seeds and seedlings to keep the birds, wasps, and cats out until things are settled in. We’ll grow some chiles, maybe a tomato, herbs, maybe an eggplant if I can find one that’s not in a sixpack, maybe some marigolds. I’d really like to plant a loofah but except for the first time I tried it, they were epic failures. I figure I can use square foot gardening techniques to increase the yield since it’s new and loose.
Any ideas, words of wisdom, et cetera?
EDIT- worm castings, not bat guano


How exciting! How will you irrigate? Maybe you could set up drip with that perforated tubing with the built in filters. Netafim?

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Exciting! Would you share a photo?

I miss growing things… but I don’t miss the pandemic, which was the only time (and reason) I actually grew things… (I travel enough usually that I kill my plants in normal times… sigh)

I tried square foot gardening but pests and then a fungus ruined the best located planters. The ones in a different spot did well though.

Tomatoes did much better for me in a separate pot vs. the raised bed. Kale and mustard greens were prolific, though. In the pest-ridden spot I had zucchini, cucumber, green and red peppers, lettuce, more kale and mustard greens – all were doing great till the pestilence took over, and then a fungus.

Chillies are a good idea, but they were also pretty prolific and so a year later there are still a bunch in the freezer :joy: I also germinated green and red pepper seeds from what we ate, and those grew really well - but I think you’re supposed to keep spicy and sweet peppers away from each others. Another time I’d try shishitos.


Nothing else in the back yard is irrigated, except for the little patch of lawn, so we’ll just run around watering like mad, like we always did!

I had shishitos year before last, none of them ever made it into the house! I may try them again, they were good. We have a couple of jalapenos that wintered over that will go in there. I planted some pepper seeds and am waiting for them to germinate as I type.
Interesting about your square foot experience, I hope we don’t end up with pestilence. The damn birds are bad enough.
Definnitely going to grow Mexican gherkins. And basil.

I don’t like the flavor of jalapeños - so we grew serranos.

The problem with the pestilence was it got to everything because of the square foot method - no separation / saving one plant from another. We had not anticipated how much we would be affected by one neighbor’s unkempt slope, and had just picked the sunniest / optimal spot for those planters. Ugh. Such a waste.

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You might want to try Fresno’s too.

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You just reminded me to go buy a serrano seedling- thanks!

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