A New Idea For Gardeners
(and a new web site)

Dateline: 17 January 2017

Hot off the press!
My New 27-page Minibeds-on-Plastic Report.

As many of you who read this blog know, I am trying something new in my garden this year. It involves a large sheet of heavy plastic and small, wood-framed garden beds. I've decided to give the idea a name: Minibeds-on-Plastic

I have also decided that my 24' x 44' Minibeds-on-Plastic garden, which I put together in the fall of 2016, will be the official Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden, and the garden must have a blog of its own! Thus, I have created MinibedsOnPlastic.com (click and go).

We are in the midst of a January thaw here. I took this picture
of my Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental garden yesterday.
I'm excited about this new idea. I'm excited about any gardening idea that holds promise for greater satisfaction with less hassles. Besides that, I've never had an officially declared experimental garden dedicated to a new gardening system of my own design. 

I know the Minibeds will be easily managed and productive. But I can't say exactly how productive they will actually be. So that's one of the things I'll be looking to determine with this new garden.

I plan to blog a lot at the new web site when spring finally gets here  And I'll probably be double-posting many of the garden updates from MinibedsOnPlastic.com here at Upland. 

The Minibeds-on-Plastic Report #1 shown at the top of this page is a 27-page, information packed report that details the whole story of this new gardening idea (so far). I've been writing and putting the Report together for a few weeks, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. I may never publish a book again, and just focus on reports like this one.

The pdf Report is on sale until the end of this month for only $3.99. After that, it will be regularly-priced at $4.99. 

If you'd like to get a free short sample of the report, you can do that too.


Shredded leaves for mulch on my minibeds—in January.


  1. You took those pictures yesterday? Hmmm looks like you need some more snow!


  2. It's not a snowy winter here this year. It has come and gone. Lots of rain lately. Not as pretty as a blanket of snow, but I'm okay with it. :-)

  3. Does your Whizbang garden cart fit between the beds?

    1. No. The walkways are 18" wide. The space between the beds in a row is 24". The cart could be pushed so that it straddles the beds, but I don't know how useful that would be. Actually, I probably wouldn't want to use the cart on the plastic anyway. I want the plastic to last as many years as possible, and the cart bears a lot of weight on four relatively small contact points with the ground.

  4. when you say "plastic" do you mean a big sheet/roll of black plastic from Lowes type of place or do you mean the woven weed barrier stuff? My experience with black plastic from home centers is it doesn't last long. Long time follower. Thank you,

    1. Hi Mike,

      Not the woven stuff. It has it's place but not for this application. I'm using 6mil, uv resistant black plastic bunker cover. 24ft x 44ft, with 45 minibeds precisely spaced and pinned into place. If you go to the Minibeds-on-Plastic web site and look on the right sidebar, I have a link there to the place where I bought the plastic. I'm hoping to get five years out of the piece of plastic in this garden application. Longevity is one of the things I'll be determining in my experimental garden. I plan to grow in it, and report on it, until the plastic & wood infrastructure is no longer useable.

  5. I tried to comment on your new site for the plastic beds but you do not accept anonymous there. :( I will at least be able to learn from this new site.
    Thank you for letting us follow your experiment. I wondered if the new beds were deep enough for root crops? Also what happens when it rains? Will the plastic paths and boxes with the plastic under get too wet cause they cannot drain? I always learn something new here and appreciate it. Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I didn't realize that anonymous comments were not allowed over there. I'll have to go see if I can fix that. You anonymous people often have some good comments. :-)

      The new beds are NOT filled with soil. They are flat beds, with a frame around them. I'm not a fan of board-sided raised beds, and I explain why in my report. So, root crops will grow in my minibeds just fine. I'll be growing carrots (of course!), beets, parsnips, and other root crops in the beds. Everything will drain just fine. The garden is on a slight slope. Some water will flow into the beds. But the plastic will prevent a lot of rain water from getting to the underlying soil. This is actually part of the reason a large sheet of black plastic is so good for a garden.

      Tom Doyle, the author of "Gardening Without Cultivation" explains in his booklet why soil under plastic benefits from not being rained on. At first, I didn't get it. I thought Doyle was a little wacky. But then I watched some teaching videos from Ray Archeluta, an agronomist, who advocates no-till agriculture. After listening to Ray's teachings, I realized that modern soil scientists are now verifying what Tom Doyle knew and tried to explain to people nearly 50 years earlier. This is all covered in my Minibeds-on-Plastic report.

  6. I'll give it a go to see how you are going to make this work Herrick. It is something I cannot duplicate as I have very limited area for growing. I do want to support you as you go about your gardening. I think your ideas are very creative! (BTW, I bought some beets, but haven;t shredded and dried them yet.

    I look forward to following your endeavor and even signed up for Email notices - which I normally do not do!

    Best wishes and happy gardening.


  7. Thanks very much, Karl.

    The beet powder I made is surprisingly sweet. I gave a jar of it to my friend, Jack, who has the cancer. He and his wife plan to make their own this summer, after they get some beets grown.

    I mixed a tablespoon with a small glass of Kombucha today and it was kind of special.

  8. I realized your new boxes had no bottom. I looked for the I believe original post about them. November 21. From the picture I thought the boxes all went right over the plastic. Then I reread the text of the Nov 21 post. From what I read you cut out the plastic under each box. That explains it. !! Now I understand. :-)
    I sure know that the places I have newspapers then leaves down on the ground I sure maintain good soil and lot of worms! Your boxes full of goodness will sure attract plenty too won't they. We don't get the snow you do but I still will try to do one area similar and try it too. CAn't learn if I don't try. :) Sarah

  9. Does using black plastic make the walkways slippery when damp\wet?