The cool thing about this plan, other than the companion planting and spacing, is the use of our “tater boxes” which temporarily deepen any raised bed–allowing your to do this in a new bed next year.
You will need:
1 electric drill or hammer
4 – 2×8 boards, 4ft long each
12 deck screws or nails
24 – 1×6 boards, 2 ft long (I just used fence pickets cut into thirds)
48 – smaller screws or nails
(If you have no idea what I just said, walk into the lumbers section at Depot or Lowe’s and hand them the above list. They can make it all happen.)
1 small roll of weed blanket (any kind)
8 – 1 ft bags of potting soil
8 bags of at least 5 different composts (This guy says so.)
2 red seed potatoes (enough to count four eyes)
2 white seed potatoes (enough to count four eyes)
4 sweet potato slips/plants
1 bunch onion sets
1 pkg carrot seeds
1 pkg cracker jack BIG marigolds (3ft)
1 pkg basil seeds or one basil plant
1. On your driveway, screw(nail) together your boards in a square. Don’t worry about how crooked the screws are or how maimed the heads of the nails end up. Just make the boards stick together in a square-type shape long enough for you to get it to the back yard.
2. Build your tater boxes the same way with the smaller nails/screws.
3. In a sunny location, lay down your square. Cut a big enough piece of weed blanket or layer it to cover the bottom of your square. Figure out where North is. You’ll be planting all your big stuff on that side.
3. Mix all your dirt and compost on a tarp.
4. Fill up box with dirt to an inch or two from the top. Water till it’s damp all the way through.
5. Evenly space 2 of your wooden squares atop of your freshly damp dirt on the South side of your garden (to make sweet potato and carrot boxes). Fill them with dirt and then water them.
6. With your finger, divide your boxes according to the dotted lines.
8. Transplant the sweet potatoes.
9. Poke 1/2″ deep holes in your carrot/onion box according to the diagram. Put one onion set or two carrot seeds in each hole. Plunk a couple of basil seeds (or plant) in the center.
10. Water every other day for a week, and as needed after that.
As your potatoes grow, (not sweet potatoes, mind you, the other taters) stack on a couple of tater boxes and gradually fill with dirt to keep them buried to the gizzard. When they out grow those boxes, add the remaining two boxes and fill those with the remaining dirt.
WHY, you ask?? Potatoes don’t grow directly under the plants. They also shoot off the sides, so the more plant you ‘hill up’, the more potatoes your get!
Your marigolds like to root off their big, honkin’ stems too, so they should hang pretty well with the burying and keep scaring off those bugs.
I hope this is as fun for you as it is for me!