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Slideshow: "My Grow Camp"

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Grow Camp

I’ve always wanted to grow more fresh, backyard produce for my family. So last spring, I set up a Grow Camp. The results were great. We enjoyed plenty of vegetables all summer. The following slides tell the story, from set-up to planting to harvest.


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Parts
To make things easy, I spread out all the parts before assembly. I decided to add the optional Grow Camp extension, which doubles the growing space.

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Corners
Most parts are designed to fit together without tools. Tip: Use a rubber mallet when fitting the corner pieces into the walls.

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Frame
With the bed structure completed, I began to add the vertical supports for the roof. The central crossbar helps the bed keep its shape as soil is added.

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Before adding soil
Here is the assembled bed, before I added soil. The diagonal wires, which help the structure maintain its shape, were easy to remove when it came time to add soil or reach in to plant and harvest.

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Seedlings
I filled the bed with a mixture of lightweight potting soil and compost. I planted seeds (arugula, spinach, carrots, lettuce, beets, radishes and chard), kept the plastic covers tightly closed, and found that almost all of the plants germinated within three days.

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Snow in March
While it's a wet and cold March morning outside, my seedlings are toasty inside the Grow Camp.

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Greens
Lettuce, beet greens and carrots in April.

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Arugula
My fourth and final arugula harvest.

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Tomatoes planted
After the arugula harvest, I planted two Super Bush tomato plants.

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Grow Camp
I cut the stems from the chard foliage, to sauté separately.

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Saute
I cut each chard stem into 2-3″ segments and sautéed them in hazelnut oil. The mix of colors is a treat in itself.

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Pie
The finished tart and sautéed chard stems: creamy and delicious.

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Peppers
Once I harvested the chard, I had room for six pepper plants. I experimented with several varieties of chile peppers.

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Tomatoes
By late July, my second crop was well under way. Tomatoes and peppers reached the ridgepole at the top of Grow Camp.

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Peppers in August
In early August, my peppers and tomatoes were thriving. The Velcro strips held the screening fabric in place on the sides, allowing the top to remain open for more headroom.
Chiles
Part of my chile harvest.

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