Welcome to the *irst issue of “Quick! Plant Something!” Keep an eye out for “Easter Egg Links” throughout this issue as well as links to our products page. Don’t see something you’d like to have? Email us! Share with your fellow survivors by liking us on facebook, or sharing the link to our website: http://www.zombievictorygardens.com, or sharing the link to this document.
Together, we can save the world, one garden at a time.
Quick! Plant Something! Issue 1: Raised Beds Copyright (c) 2012 by Kathy Voth and Leah Ashley Esser, Zombie Victory Gardens, LLC All rights reserved. This document is protected under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. This publication is for home use only and all other rights are expressly reserved by the copyright owner.
THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL.
CITIES AND TOWNS HAVE GONE DARK.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY, AND ANNOYING PEOPLE TOO, HAVE DISAPPEARED, ONLY TO BE FOUND AGAIN, ROAMING THE STREETS LOOKING FOR BRAINS.
NO LIGHTS.... NO PHONE.... NO FACEBOOK.... BUT IN AT LEAST ONE, WELL-FORTIFIED HOUSEHOLD, TWO SURVIVORS ARE COUNTING THEIR BLESSINGS.
Hey, Kathy Sue..what’s for breakfaﬆ?
Hey, Les. The usual - ramen or tomato soup.
I am so SICK of Tomato Soup from a can!
I used to juﬆ love tomatœs oﬀ the vine... You know, I had this friend before all this happened. Janet, could do ANYTHING with tools. She hated tomatœs. But then she ﬆarted gardening. She even grew tomatœs. Aﬅer she ate her firﬆ, real-live, vineripened tomato - not like those fake ones at the grocery ﬆore - she found out she loved tomatœs. I wonder what happened to Janet? I hope she’s not one of those undead things hanging out on the other side of the fence!
Strawberries... I used to juﬆ love fresh ﬆrawberries!
Kathy Sue, It’s time we ﬆarted doing something more than juﬆ surviving!
Check out this book I’ve been reading. This guy, Mel Bartholomew, writes all about how to grow food in raised beds. I’ve got a bunch of other books too. You are absolutely right, Les! What this apocalypse needs is a little farming! Quick! Let’s plant something!
But not together!
I’ll get the machete. And I can set up a And it’s close to the Well, here’s what You get the drill and a watering syﬆem of house for quick access, we’ve got to work board for repairs. some kind. Hey with. Looks like and safety. If we make it there’s an we’ll have compact, it will arm reaching the 6 to 8 be a lot less thru’ the hours of sun work. fence. We we need. better take care of that.
But I hate digging! How are we going to get the soil we need to fill the beds?
There! That should keep ‘em out!
SURVIVAL TIP: KEEP YOUR DRILL BATTERIES CHARGED AND READY FOR QUICK REPAIRS.
We’re not going to dig! We’re going to make our own soil from the beﬆ ﬆuﬀ out there. That’s the joy of raised beds!
STAY TUNED FOR: OUR ISSUE ON TURNING DECOMPOSING THINGS INTO ENERGY. BROUGHT TO YOU BY ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE POWER (ZAP!)
THE INGREDIENTS FOR GOOD SOIL
THIS IS “MEL’S MIX.” IT IS LIGHT, SO A PLANT’S ROOTS CAN GROW EASILY AND IT’S EASY TO WEED, IS RICH IN NUTRIENTS, AND MANAGES MOISTURE WELL.
Soil Math Recipe (How Much Should We Get?) Figure out the square footage of your bed (length x width). Divide that in half to get the number of cubic feet necessary for 6 inch deep soil. Di vid e THAT number by 3 for quantity of each ingredient.
1 cubic ya rd = 27 cubic feet. You might n eed to k no w this if you’r e getting things in b ulk.
So... 4x4 foot bed = 16 sq. feet Half of that is 8, so we need 8 cubic feet per bed. 8 divided by 3 = almost 2 and 2/3 cubic feet per ingredient. Round up to 3 each. It’s easier.
SURVIVAL TIP: PAY ATTENTION IN SCHOOL. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT MIGHT COME IN HANDY.
How about if we call it a day so we can get an early ﬆart on shopping in the morning?
Thanks for the sirloin, Les. See you in the morning!
Yeah. Besides, it’s harder to see the creatures at night, so we might as well go inside. Hey, I saved a can of Sirloin Burger soup. How about dinner?
G’night. I might head out early because I’ve got a lot to load. I’ll take the truck. You take the Prius.
THE GENTLE SOUNDS OF ZOMBIES WAKE LES AT DAWN. HE TAKES CARE OF HIS MORNING CHORE, CLEANING THE FENCE LINE OF CREATURES, AND THEN WRITES A QUICK NOTE.
post, m o c t e g o t early g Headed out d vermiculite. Puttin n peat moss a of what to put it in. e you in charg at the ranch this k See you bac afternoon. Les Undead blessing of the day - I get to drive heavy machinery now. And if I dent the truck, I can get a new one!
SURVIVAL TIP: WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER THE UNDEAD IN THE STREETS, PUTTING YOUR VEHICLE IN 4 WHEEL DRIVE PREVENTS SLIPPING.
Undead blessing of the day - I always get the beďŹ† parking space!
AFTER A HEARTY BREAKFAST OF RAMEN COOKED IN TOMATO SOUP AND MOTIVATED BY DREAMS OF FRESH FOOD, KATHY SUE HEADS OUT TO PICK UP VICTORY GARDEN SUPPLIES, A FEW SURPRISES FOR LES....
Victory Garden Supplies Hardware Store Pots Drill & Batteries Tape measure nails wheelbarrow
2x8s Screws weed mat hammer (pink if possible) Shovel
Craft Store cute fabric sewing machine magic markers string apron pattern
beads thread blinds for plant markers pins scissors
Bookstore anything on gardening sewing books jewelry making book/magazine journal
...AND TAKES CARE OF A FEW OF THE UNDEAD ALONG THE WAY.
or KS Notes f building raised successful Melâ€™s beds from ua re All New Sq ning. Foot Ga rde
No wider th a n 4 ft. Mel says t he avg. person ca n reach 2 ft, so our 4 ft. beds mea n we ca n reach everything in them without hav ing to step in the m.
Most pla nts only need 6 inch es of soil so I ca n sav e time a nd materi al by only filling bed s 6 inches deep.
Leave aisles wide enough to move the wheelba rrow through easily. Good for harvesting & for bringing in soil materials
6 to 8 hours
(But Leafy G reens a nd herbs like s ome shade.)
Cover the ground under your beds with weed mat to keep weeds and grass from invading.
en nea r Put the ga rd for its the house yours. It safety a nd asier to ma kes it e ha rvest... water a nd
...REMEMBER - we donâ€™t wa nt de ad things in the ga rden!
Nice job on the beds! What are you doing in the house?
I’M MAKING US PRETTY AND USEFUL STUFF!! WANNA SEE?
Since we’re growing Victory Gardens, I made you an OFFICIAL Zombie Apocalypse Farmer Badge!...
... AND I made myself earrings! I’m sick of everything being dark and depressing... we’re ﬆill alive and I think life should always be beautiful!
You were gone a long time and I found work aprons! I decorated them too!...
... They have pockets for holding seeds and tools! They can even hold our machetes...
I’m going back outside to make soil... ... I am not wearing an apron...
Now we need to mix all these things together and get them in the beds. Any thoughts on how to make that easy?
My old friend Janet mixed her own soil for her beds... She ﬆarted out mixing on a tarp but then figured out a more eﬃcient way....
What Would Janet Do?
Our wheelbarrow is a great place to mix the soil ingredients, and our shovel is the “measuring cup.” We put the same number of shovelsfull of each ingredient into the wheelbarrow. Each ingredient has a different weight, but we’re mixing for volume, so it’s only the size of your shovel full that matters.
We stir the ingredients up and then push the wheelbarrow to our beds. Rake it smooth and TA DA! We’re done!
SPECIAL PEAT MOSS NOTE: It has a lot of moisture in it, and early in the spring it can actually freeze into a block. So, first set bags in the sun to warm. Then,just before opening a bag, sit on it and bounce up and down to break it up. That way it’s easier to shovel.
Well done! Now we juﬆ need to get some seeds and plants
Well, I know we can put a lot of ﬆuﬀ in one square foot with this method. So, let’s go plan it out before you work yourself to death.
What Would Janet Do?
Plastic Pots and food containers
I don’t know, Les, but I don’t think we have nearly enough beds for all the things I want to plant...
Maybe so...and inﬆead of more beds, there are lots of things I could plant in. Then we could use the patio and other small spots all over our yard for growing things too! Like the ﬆuﬀ I remember at Janet’s place...
Empty pop bottles in wire hangers
Empty chicken feed sacks, canvas shopping bags, hanging tomato and pepper bags from the dollar store. Storage tubs and kiddie pools
UH-OH! LES! DUCK!
SNICKER! SNACK !
EWWW! I got it on me. I think the solar shower should be warm. I’m going to go wash this oﬀ!
Thanks for picking up this shower shelter, Les. It’s so much better than the hose!
Glad you like it! Hey, when you’re done, maybe we can think of something useful to do with all these body parts that are piling up. STAY TUNED FOR: OUR NEXT ISSUE “QUICK! PLANT TOMATOES!” AND LES WEARING AN APRON!
TAKE YOUR FREE TEAR OUT INSTRUCTIONS WITH YOU AS YOU START YOUR OWN ZOMBIE VICTORY GARDEN! ZAF CORPS HOE!
Quick! Get your raised bed going!
(Our job is to make it simple. Your job is to take a leap of faith and try.)
BRAINS REQUIRED (Dif]iculty): BODIES REQUIRED:
1. Your Frame Beds should never be wider than 4 feet. This is because the average person can only reach 2 feet. With a 4 foot wide bed you can reach your whole garden without ever stepping on the soil. Stepping in your bed compacts the soil (making weeding more dif]icult) and is dangerous to small growing things. Take a tip from the masters and keep it 4 feet wide. We prefer our beds to be 4X4 or 4X6, but the length is up to you! If you’re planning on putting a bed next to a fence or house, just build it 2 ft wide since you can only reach in from one direction.
How to build a 4x4 bed frame a. Get two 2x8x8ft boards. b. Cut in half. (Most home improvement stores will do this for you.) c. Mark your ends with crayons or markers (]igure 1)
d. Lay out boards. Blue sides cover red ends. (]igure 2)
e. Join, using 3” wood screws, If you’re extra thrifty and imaginative, 2 per joint to create a consider recycled wood. Some towns have stable, square bed. (Your recycling centers where folks drop off wood 1/2 person can help by of all kinds that you can repurpose into beds. holding parts in place.) Make sure you ]ind untreated wood as treated wood can leach chemicals into your soil. Beds you build out of recycled materials may not be give you exact square foot dimensions, but that’s ]ine. You just make some minor adjustments when you’re planting. (And we’ll tell you how when the time comes.)
If you’re not up for fabricating your own bed, you can always use a pre-‐fab design. Beds kits can be found at most home improvement stores. Pallet collars also work well (although they’re not in even square foot dimensions-‐ it’s okay, don’t worry!). 2. Place Your Beds Make sure you put your beds where they’ll get 6 to 8 hours of sun each day. The nearer your beds are to your house, the easier it will be to water and harvest. When you place your beds, make sure you leave aisles so that you can push your wheelbarrow and lawnmower between them.
Here’s an example of what you might ]ind at a recycling center.
Give a little thought to what you’ll grow in your beds. Put tall things, and things that climb, like pole beans, peas, tomatoes and squash, where they won’t shade other veggies you’re growing in the same bed.
This is a bed of edamame with each row planted about a week apart for a continuous harvest through the summer. The gardener started on the north end of the bed so older rows wouldn’t shade the newer ones.
This gardener placed trellises at the north end of all her 4x6 foot beds, and then planted her vining and tall veggies there. Shorter plants grow in the other parts of the bed. Because her beds were longer than they were wide, she had to leave aisles between each bed so that she would still be able to reach in.
This gardener planted tall tomatoes on the north side of these two rows of pallet collar beds and shorter vegetables (cabbage and peppers) on the south sides. The aisle between the beds gives enough room so shade is not a problem.
3. Add Weed Mat Weed mat keeps your good soil in the frame and the weeds from coming up through the bottom. Don’t use black plastic as your weed mat. It deteriorates, and it’s made from oil. We have better uses for oil. Buy real (cloth-‐like) weed mat. It’s worth the investment because you don’t want to have to start over. Help your weed mat be successful. Cut it larger than your pallet or frame so that weeds and grass can’t sneak in up the sides. Feel free to staple it to the frame, but you don’t have to.
4. Mix your soil This is what your plants will be eating so that they can feed you. Don’t skimp here! A bit of an investment now will pay off for years and years! If you’re thinking of buying topsoil, think of this-‐ It’s no better than whatever you have right now. Most gardeners spend 8 to 10 years getting their soil just right so that they can have excellent harvests. By mixing your own, you skip that 8 to 10 years. There’s something to be said for this kind of “instant grati]ication.” Plus, topsoil is very heavy... it’s hard on the plants trying to grow through it and hard on your back when you’re trying to get it into your bed. Use Mel’s Mix from the “All New Square Foot Gardening” Book: 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 bio-‐compost. It’s GREAT! For every new planting you do in a square foot, add two handfuls of bio-‐compost to keep nutrients up. These items sell in cubic feet. To ]igure out how much you’ll need: Take the square footage of your bed (length times width) and divide by 2. That’s the cubic feet you will need for a 6 inch deep garden. Divide that number by 3 to ]ind out how much of each ingredient you need. If you’re buying in large quantities, you’ll probably buy bio-‐compost by the yard. There are 27 cubic feet to a yard. We’ve found it easy to mix by shovel full from the bags into a wheelbarrow and then driving the wheelbarrow over to our beds. Remember, we’re mixing soil parts by volume (not weight). 5. Fill your raised bed. It only needs to be ]illed to 6” deep. Yes, this is hard to believe, but non-‐root veggies don’t need deeper soil than that. I also successfully grew carrots in only 6” of soil. They were just a little shorter. Adding more soil than this just wastes time and money, so keep it simple, make you’re life easier and just do 6 inches! 6. Mark off your squares It’s easier to see where you’re planting each item if you can see the square itself. Mel recommends lath, but I’ve found that’s only necessary if you’re an engineer like him. For the rest of us string and nails is just ]ine. You’ll need 6 nails, a hammer and some string. Starting on the long sides of the box, pound a nail in every foot. Don’t pound it all the way in because you want to be able to tie your string to it. When you have your nails pounded in on each side, tie the string to one nail, stretch it across to the other side, and tie it off. Then do the same on the short sides of the box. Our example box is a 2’ X 3’ bed. Done! You’re ready to plant!