How to start a raised-bed veggie garden

New gardener Reed Davis chronicles each step, misstep, and big juicy victory as he turns a small patch of soil into a bountiful vegetable garden

Growing dinner
Photo by Maren Caruso

Growing dinner

Reed Davis is rarely stumped by the eternal question “What’s for dinner?” He just walks to the vegetable garden at the edge of his Los Angeles property, sees which crops are ripe, and starts cooking—in summer, that might be a chilled gazpacho topped with chopped cucumber, say, or a ratatouille to take advantage of the glossy eggplants.

An avid cook and a vegetarian, Davis knows that a dish is only as good as its ingredients. That’s why he recently decided to plant his first edible garden, calling on friend Conor Fitzpatrick (creator of MinifarmBox raised beds) to help him through the process. On a sunny, narrow stretch of land, they installed Fitzpatrick’s modular boxes and then planted them, Davis taking notes and photographing each step along the way. In spite of some glitches—like squirrels eating the watermelons—the project’s success became abundantly clear within a few months. “I get so much produce out of the garden that it makes me giddy sometimes,” says Davis.

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