The Garden is In! Raised Bed Gardening on Dakota Farms

By Shelley Moore

Shelley Moore is an aspiring organic backyard gardener with hopes of becoming a true ‘green thumb’. She is the mother of two young daughters and the wife of one helpful husband. They reside in northern Utah.

Don’t you find it a little crazy to think that pretty much the same “stuff” we wash off our kids at the end of an outdoor play day (and/or find at the bottom of the drained bathtub that same evening) is the same “stuff” that is used to grow healthy vegetables and fruits to feed said kids?

Yep, we are talking dirt.

Filling in the raised bed with soil. Photo By Rick Moore
I was on a quest to find a particular kind of soil and luckily, and after a little “digging,” I was able to find it.

Black Gold Potting Soil is OMRI-certified, and to my understanding, it is tested and approved for organic gardening. Each of our two raised beds required thirteen 1.5 cu. ft. bags. To help deter the cost a bit we added four 1 cu. ft. bags of Black Gold Compost to each of the raised beds as well.

Raised beds filled with Black Gold Potting Soil and Compost. Photo By Shelley Moore.
I started some broccoli, tomato, carrot and spinach seedlings inside the house some time ago. They all sprouted nicely, but after a while, the paper holdings of the broccoli and tomatoes looked kinda moldy to me. I was squeamish and threw them out. The carrots looked great, but when it came to planting, I wasn’t sure how to divide the darn things. So out went those, too. The spinach? It was a keeper and finally had an outside raised bed to call home.
Carrot and spinach starts. Photo By Shelley Moore.

I had a couple little helpers (one more willing than the other, I believe) and my helpful husband to add additional seeds to get this garden growing once and for all!
My family planting the garden. Photos By Shelley Moore.
I decided to plant corn on the east side of the spinach to help provide shade. I have read it is a cool weather crop, so I’m not sure what summer will bring for it. I planted more carrot seeds, too, as well as lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes. I love Campari tomatoes and buy them often. I followed (pretty much) an online tutorial on how to save tomato seeds and planted some of those I had as well.

It’s been a few weeks or so since all this has taken place and things are growing beautifully! However, using information from the back of the seed packets, some (or all?) plants were not spaced correctly.


The garden is growing! Photo By Shelley Moore.

I had an area within one of the raised beds with nothing planted, thinking that I would plant additional lettuce seeds at a later date and harvest another crop. But we ended up moving some of the young lettuce heads into that area. I also still need to move some broccoli plants, but I don’t have any extra room. After talking to my neighbor, they may find a home in her garden. The carrots need some sort of thinning, too, but uh… I guess we’ll see what happens on those!

My novice ways are showing aren’t they?

Perhaps gardening and parenting have a few small things in common, like a little learning as we go and a hope that things turn out for the best. Luckily, I’ve been able to learn and remember what plant is what (I’m pretty sure those are the tomatoes I planted from my saved seeds!) However, if I could just tell at bath time if it’s dirt, a bruise or a suntan on my kids’ outdoor laden skin, I may just be getting somewhere!

Natural Home & Garden


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