OL 301 Assignment Four Homework Instructions
Online Learning: OL 301
Learn How to Grow a Family Vegetable Garden
Center for Sustainable Development

How You Can Grow a Vegetable Garden: Fresh, nutritious vegetables for your family.

This week’s resources on the Student Resource Page:
OL 301 Assignment Four Homework Instructions
OL 301 Assignment Four Discussion
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible
How to Grow More Vegetables
Kitchen Garden Beds How To Card
Field Handbook on Forming Garden Beds & Planting Seeds
Workshop Lesson Plan: Preparing Family Garden Beds and Planting Seeds. Good for additional information.

Assignment 4. Soil Part Two: Creating a garden bed with a soft, open texture and full of nutrients.

This Week’s Goal: To prepare your first garden bed—ready for planting next week.

Step One. Think about what size you want your first bed to be. Think about exactly where you want to locate it. You will want plenty of room to walk around it—and maybe to even use a wheelbarrow adjacent to the bed. You’ll want the location to have good sun and be close to water. There are some aesthetics to consider here as well: site it in a location where it will be pleasant to look at.

Don’t make the bed too wide—you will want to be able to reach the middle of it from the side of the bed. So 3 to 4 feet is an ideal size (1 meter to 1.2 meters). You can use garden twine to lay it out by putting a small stake in each of the four corners. Then, with that outline can use your shovel to go around the perimeter and slit through the grass.

If the location has grass, weeds, or shrubbery those will all need to be removed. They could become the beginning of your new compost pile!

Look through the two books, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, How to Grow More Vegetables, and the two guides, Kitchen Garden Beds How To Card, Field Handbook on Forming Garden Beds & Planting Seeds. They all have illustrations and clear descriptions and what to do.

Step Two. Once you’ve completed the digging process you will have loose soil in the bottom of the bed about a foot down, and more soil on the ground surrounding the bed. Before you put in the soil back into the bed you can spread a little bit of your soil amendments (compost, manure or leaves and garden clippings) on the top of the loose soil within the planting bed. Then add some of the rest of the soil back into the bed. Put another layer of compost or manure into the bed and then add more soil and so on until you have all of the compost or manure and the soil replaced back into the bed.

During the process of adding the loose soil back into the bed you want to make sure you break up any dirt clods so the soil is smooth and soft. When you’re done, you will have a mound of soil. You then want to take a garden rake and smooth off this mound so it’s flat and level. You can even put a small lip around the perimeter to help hold in water as in the illustrations.

If there are any dirt clods left over you can break them up with your shovel or the garden rake.

You’re done!

Homework for Assignment 4. So your assignment for week four is to write me in super short sentences and tell me:
1. How big did you decide to make your first garden bed and where did you put it?

2. Did you add some soil amendments during the bed preparation—or did you just stick with the garden soil itself?

3. Take a photo of your finished bed and paste it into your assignment or attach it to the email to me.

Time to use your notebook! Print out this homework sheet and jot down a few things that maybe you had trouble doing and that you will need to remember for when you begin preparing for the next growing season. Punch holes in it and stick it in your notebook.

I look forward to seeing your ideas for Assignment 4 and I look forward to seeing you next week in Assignment 5.
Copyright © Tim Magee