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Victorville, Ca (Raised bedding/Newbie Gardener) Need some tips

I live in a hot climate and i havent bought anything but what i do have in my cart is tomatos, cucumbers and zucchinis and a 16x16 cedar raised bedding... My balcony is all cement and they are two holes on the wall close to the floor.

I do live in a apartment complex, it is super windy at times and super hot. it never really rains. what can i put under the soil thats cheap and that can let water run through? I am new to all this so i have no idea if im doing anything wrong Lol

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Line your bed frame with waterproof liner to reduce soil drying and withhold moisture. Cover the top of your bed using a breathable weed liner to reduce drying and erosion by wind and plant through holes in the cover. Water from the bottom up using a drip irrigation hose or make a water container/soil wick to keep the roots moist. Use a potting mix in lieu of soil if possible or make a mixture similar used in the square foot gardening program. Layer you soil with gravel to help drain and leave oxygen. Plant to grow vertical to make maximum use of space. Also, get some buckets, or other containers to capture and store as much rain water as you can get. Your water may become limited or rationed as the summer goes on with the drought. Take a look at my container 101 here on HQ. you will see the container garden I've run for a couple of years and see if it helps.

something like this?

John F. Houpt II, PhD said:

Line your bed frame with waterproof liner to reduce soil drying and withhold moisture. Cover the top of your bed using a breathable weed liner to reduce drying and erosion by wind and plant through holes in the cover. Water from the bottom up using a drip irrigation hose or make a water container/soil wick to keep the roots moist. Use a potting mix in lieu of soil if possible or make a mixture similar used in the square foot gardening program. Layer you soil with gravel to help drain and leave oxygen. Plant to grow vertical to make maximum use of space. Also, get some buckets, or other containers to capture and store as much rain water as you can get. Your water may become limited or rationed as the summer goes on with the drought. Take a look at my container 101 here on HQ. you will see the container garden I've run for a couple of years and see if it helps.
That's the idea using the same material to cover the top of your box. I didn't think much of covering the top of the soil in my containers until I tried it last year during our drought. Now I cover all my containers and in-ground plants. Definitely keeps the plants and soil moist and reduces water consumption here in the SC heat.

Natalie! Congrats on your first garden! John has some great advice in there, including using self-watering containers. You can find a 101 on creating your own here. You might also check out the Raised Beds 101, and John's awesome Container Gardening 101 has a good explanation of the difference between potting soil and potting mix.

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