More Information About the Grow Camp

More Information About the Grow Camp

  • 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.
      –Susan Romanoff, Creative Director, Gardener’s Supply

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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.
  • Video: Gardening with the Grow Camp
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Does the Grow Camp have a base or "floor"?
      No. This means you can place the bed on hard surfaces or soil. To prevent soil loss on irregular surfaces, line the bottom of the bed with landscape fabric before adding soil.

      Can the GrowCamp be placed in a windy site?
      Yes. The tent is designed to hold up in high winds.

      Grow Camp in Snow

      A Grow Camp in winter.

      Can a Grow Camp be left outdoors in winter?
      Yes. Although the superstructure and the tent parts can withstand cold and snow, they will last longer if you store them indoors for the winter.

      How much soil do I need?
      Each Grow Camp holds about 24 cubic feet (0.86 cubic yards) of soil. Each additional extension holds the same amount. You can buy soil in bulk at a garden center or buy bagged soil (about 36 20-quart bags).

      We recommend a blend of topsoil, compost and a soilless growing medium (potting soil) that contains peat moss, perlite and/or vermiculite. This will ensure a loose, moisture-retentive growing area.

      Can I just fill the Grow Camp with soil from my garden?
      No. Do not use soil from your garden because it is not likely to drain well. Though it might sound like a good idea, don't fill the Grow Camp with pure compost, which is too rich and won't provide the soil structure for good root growth.

      Some garden centers offer "raised bed mix" in bulk, which is a good choice for the Grow Camp. If you do not have access to quality soil, use a 50-50 blend of compost and some type of potting soil that contains peat moss, perlite and/or vermiculite.

      Do I need to fertilize my plants?
      We recommend adding a granular organic fertilizer, such as All-Purpose Fertilizer, at planting time. Use 1-2 cups for each bed: sprinkle it on the surface and scratch it into the soil. In subsequent years, we recommend using the Raised Bed Booster Kit, a good way to recharge your garden.

      I have problems with slugs and snails. Will the Grow Camp keep them out?
      The high, smooth sides of the bed will deter most slugs and snails. The netting provides protection as well. For added protection, line the bed with Copper Slug Tape.

      Can I grow strawberries in the Grow Camp?
      Yes. Just remember to open the covering when strawberries flower so bees can pollinate the blooms and ensure good fruiting.

      What is the best time of the year to set up the raised bed?
      The Grow Camp can be set up at any time of year.

      Can an extension be attached to an existing Grow Camp?
      Yes, but you have to remove soil from the original bed so you can take off the end gable and attach the extension.

  • Assembly Instructions

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