5 Easy Steps to Creating a Raised Garden with Microclimates

Written By: Katie Bocskor, Digital Marketing Manager for MyGreenGloves

Gardening Creates Memories

As I scroll through my social media feeds, I see many friends and family members posting pictures of their summer gardens. The excitement of growing their own food while showing their children the value of gardening creates great family memories.

There are so many advantages to gardening like growing your own food, escaping from everyday stresses, exercising or just being outside during the few nice months of the year (coming from a Wisconsin native).

However, along with the advantages there are disadvantages that draw people away from even getting started with gardening—such as removing turf and rototilling the soil, setting up and maintaining a garden, backbreaking physical work that strains the body, or just not having space to set-up a garden.

Enter the GardenPODS System—quick to set-up, square foot raised garden grid that can be placed right over lawn and addresses these disadvantages—bringing enjoyment back into gardening.

This grid system is perfect for beginner gardeners, urban gardening, container gardening, microclimate gardening, master gardeners and community gardens.

What is the GardenPODS Square Foot Garden Grid?

The GardenPODS Grid system was developed for gardeners that wanted:

  1. a quick, easy way to get started with raised bed gardening
  2. the ability to grow different plants in different soils, in one garden bed (microclimates)
  3. a low maintenance way to garden

The GardenPODS material is made from strong, flexible and weather-resistant plastic. Due to the flexibility of the grid system, it can expand to fit a desired gardening space, or easily cut to create customize-sized raised garden beds. You can easily build a 4 x 8 ft wood frame around the grid with standard or treated lumber.

The grid’s deep-pocketed design allows for garden versatility by using different plant growing media (mediums) in the individual pods. For instance, a topsoil/sand mix is ideal for growing carrots, yet may not be best suited for other herbs or vegetables.

With deep compartments, you can fill designated pods with the right soil mix for the right plants. In each compartmental section, you can also place plants closer together for greater yields, less water use, and no garden path weeds.

The quick-to-assemble GardenPODS Grid System is not only an ideal way to organize plant beds, but it can also be placed right over lawn, gravel or concrete—eliminating the needs for rototilling and allowing your plants to grow in fresh loose soil.

The GardenPODS Grid is perfect for all sized yards, rooftops, decks and community gardens. Build your own garden in minutes and start growing your favorite vegetables, herbs and flowers.

How to Set-up the GardenPODS Grid in Minutes:

Just follow these 5 easy steps to set-up your GardenPODS system:

  1. Build a Raised Garden Wood Frame
  2. Prepare the Garden Bed
  3. Install the GardenPODS Section
  4. Set-up Your Garden
  5. Start Planting

Watch the GardenPODS Installation video to see how easy it is to get started with gardening!

Create Microclimates in Your Square Foot Raised Garden Bed for Healthier, Hardier Plants

About Guest Blogger Jose Pablo (JP)

Having been raised on a dairy farm, JP has been around plants and animals his whole life where growing his own food is typical to a farming culture. Now a city dweller, he has the same hands-on desire for raising, growing and controlling the family’s food source naturally. Limited space has its challenges, but JP has raised egg-producing chickens in his backyard for 3 years, and tended several raised garden beds for over 8 years. Somewhat of a master gardener now, JP grows unique plants and vegetables—enough food to make jams and jellies, can, freeze and share with friends and neighbors. And when the growing season ends, JP is a good earth steward by composting egg shells, food scraps, end of season plantings and other yard waste.

Follow JP to learn his gardening techniques, how square foot gardening is ideal for limited spaces, and how he engages his whole family on his sustainable journey.




What are Microclimates?

Microclimates are great for urban gardeners with limited space who want to grow a variety of plants, in a specific area, with specific soils—thus creating individual growing conditions for crops within the same limited space.

JP’s Gardening Journey Begins Here

Throughout my gardening journey this year, I will be referring back to the microclimates I have created in my garden. So to get started I would like to share how I established these specific climates using the GardenPODSTM Square Foot Raised Garden Grid.

A major benefit to using the GardenPODS grid is the deep-pocketed design that allows me to integrate square foot gardening techniques with microclimate gardening—creating individual planting zones for specific plant types and maximizing my yield in a small space.



Planning My Garden

There are 53 individual planting ‘pods’ in the GardenPODS system, which allows for planting different herbs, vegetables and flowers in different soils. To create different zones for the needs of the individual plant types, I carefully planned out my garden for what crops I would grow, the best soil types for those crops, the best season for planting/harvesting and then I assessed my uncontrollable environments (such as hours of sunlight per day).





I downloaded the free GardenPODS Garden Planner Worksheet to help with the arrangement of my garden.

With my garden plan completed and my GardenPODS grid set-up in the 4×8 ft. wood frame that was easy to build, I started to fill the pods with different soils and plantings. This image shows what soils and herbs I planted—creating those microclimates.

(Click to View Image Details)


For remainder of this blog, I will be focusing on the specialized drainage needs for Mediterranean herbs and long root vegetables like carrots.


Microclimate Zones for Specialized Plantings

For the root vegetable microclimate zone, I blended topsoil with sand (poultry grit can also be used). For long, straight carrots, a sandy loam that is loose, light and drains well is ideal. Adding perlite can also help if your soils are compacted. (Perlite is a lightweight organic soil amendment that looks like little white Styrofoam balls.)



Carrots Zone

Note the different zones within the same raised bed.

This zone is for the carrots—as the loose soil will be easy for the carrots to push through as they grow (freshly planted seeds are not yet visible).

The ideal pH range for carrots is 6.0 to 6.8 (slightly acidic to neutral), with the amount of nitrogen less than potassium and phosphorus levels. An NPK fertilizer with 1-2-2 is perfect, as too much nitrogen will give you lots of leaves, and hairy, cracked carrots.




Mediterranean Herbs Zone

Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary and lavender prefer gritty, sharply drained soil, so in this zone, I added extra perlite to the sandy loam mix for faster drainage.





The upper left of the raised bed near the yellow marigold has Mediterranean herbs with the extra perlite added to the sandy mix.

Fast drainage is important because if the garden soil is too moist, herb roots tend to rot.

If you are choosing garden soil to add to your raised bed herb area, avoid a soil with added vermiculite, as these soil blends tend to retain water instead of drain it quickly.

The ideal Mediterranean herb microclimate has a pH that is slightly acidic to neutral (5.5-6.5) and soil that is a bit rocky. Fast-draining soil is necessary!



The GardenPODS square foot garden grid has allowed me to create microclimates for my herbs and root vegetables, based on their soils needs—all in one bed!

Follow ‘My Gardening Journey’ throughout the summer, as I post updates on my square foot raised garden.

Order Your GardenPODS Grid Here >>

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