Igor Lyadov’s high beds: how to do it yourself

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Increasing the productivity of the garden is not an easy task. But it is quite possible to do without herbicides and fertilizers, while achieving a high yield. The article examines gardening technologies developed and successfully applied by Igor Lyadov, a summer resident from the Russian Far East..

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

The method of growing vegetables in narrow beds was developed by the American specialist Jacob Mittlider. He concluded that the best yield is achieved with careful geometric planning of the vegetable garden and the use of balanced fertilizers. The main find of Mittleider is narrow beds, no more than 45 cm wide and 4.5 to 18 m long, with 75 cm row spacing.

In its pure form, the American method of vegetable growing did not suit Igor Nikolaevich. First, he is a staunch supporter of natural farming. Secondly, spring floods and prolonged rains, which are common in the Far Eastern climate. The narrow beds and the aisles between them were simply flooded. Igor Lyadov found a remedy for excess moisture – he closed the beds with boxes and raised them above the row spacing.

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

How to build tall beds yourself

The traditional scheme for creating garden beds is based on the maximum possible development of the land plot – wide beds (1.5–2 m), separated by narrow paths (20–40 cm). In this version, according to many summer residents, the land is not idle. But what is the harvest in wide beds? Plants along the edges develop more or less normally, but those planted in the middle rot and get sick, give birth to small fruits. The plight of plants is enthusiastically perceived by insect pests that feed on weak stems and fruits that lay offspring near them.

Igor Lyadov once drew attention to the plants along the edges of wide beds – they developed well, resisted diseases and did not rot. Realizing that free air access is extremely important for vegetable crops, he built the first high bed and became convinced of his rightness.

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

The box for the garden is hammered out of the boards. Its walls can also be built of stone or brick. After assembly, the outer walls of the box should be painted with breathable white paint (whitewash or facade VDAK) in order to reduce the heating of the box walls in the sun.

Box parameters:

  • height from 15 to 30 cm. The more active summer rains, the higher should be the walls of the boxes;
  • width from 60 to 120 cm. If sunny and hot days prevail in summer, then high beds must be made as wide as possible (but not more than 120 cm!);
  • length from 4 m, its maximum value is limited only by the size of the summer cottage.

Box-shaped high beds are oriented strictly from north to south, which in the future will give the plants maximum sunlight. The order of filling the beds:

  • sheets of ordinary cardboard packaging are laid at the bottom;
  • the second layer is sand filling. The thickness is about 1.5–3 cm;
  • the third layer is formed from plant residues – straw, last year’s foliage, tops of tomato and potato bushes. Its thickness is 1.5–3 cm;
  • the fourth layer (2–4 cm) is manure or compost. Can be replaced with herbal infusions poured onto plant residues previously laid;
  • the top layer is the soil removed from the aisles.

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

The cardboard base blocks the growth of weeds and prevents insects from getting from the ground to the roots of plants. The sand layer will provide drainage. Two subsequent layers are needed to feed the root system of vegetables. The last layer – earthen – is poured much higher than the others (at least 8 cm).

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

The paths between the rows should be 60 to 80 cm wide, but not less. They provide air and sunlight access to each bed from both sides. It is impossible to leave the aisles in the form of an earthen area – they will be filled with weeds. Mulch from sand and sawdust is poured onto the surface, or roofing material, plastic wrap, etc. To make the garden not only fruitful, but also beautiful, the plots are sown with lawn grasses.

Natural top dressing for tall beds

Every summer resident can make natural fertilizers with his own hands, including those containing effective microorganisms (EM). In all the recipes described below, the container for the preparation of the infusion is a barrel with a capacity of 200 liters..

Nettle infusion

In the stems and leaves, stinging nettle accumulates a significant amount of nitrogen, silicon, calcium, iron, potassium, sulfur, other trace elements and amino acids.

For the preparation of the infusion, only fresh nettle is suitable – you need to pick or mow it. Shredded stems are placed in a barrel 2/3 of the volume, warm water is poured (ideally, rainwater) almost to the upper edge, a lid is placed on top (a sheet of plywood or metal will do). During the infusion of nettle, oxygen will be released, so the lid should not fit snugly to the barrel, and the infusion must be stirred every day.

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

Fermentation of nettle infusion will take from 5 to 10 days, the exact time depends on the air temperature. The readiness of the infusion is determined by its appearance – no bubbles stand out, the color of the liquid is lighter. To get rid of the unpleasant odor that occurs during fermentation, 15–20 drops of valerian extract should be added to the infusion (sold in pharmacies as a sedative).

Before watering tall beds, nettle infusion is diluted in proportions of 1 to 10, 1 to 5, or 1–2 liters per bucket of water and injected into the ground, as with regular watering.

Infusion with EM cultures

According to Igor Lyadov, to increase yields, it is necessary to use infusions containing “local” microorganisms, since they are more adapted to the composition of the soil and climate..

When preparing the EM infusion, the following is placed in an empty barrel:

  • wood or grass ash (one shovel);
  • Fallen leaves or rotten straw (one bucket);
  • chicken droppings, horse or cow dung (half a bucket);
  • washed sand (one shovel);
  • compost, humus or ordinary soil from the garden (one shovel);
  • curdled milk or milk whey (one liter);
  • mash (3 liters).

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

The brew is prepared independently. Her recipe: non-chlorinated water (tap water or clean and fresh rainwater for a day) – 3 liters; sugar – 5 tablespoons; yeast – a pinch. The ingredients are put in a three-liter jar, tightly closed with a lid, wrapped in a cloth and placed in a warm place (not in the sun). Fermentation, depending on the air temperature, will take a day or three. The finished mash is poured into the barrel after the remaining components are added. After warm rainwater is poured in, the cover is put on (put on). The EM infusion will be ready in about 7 days, the readiness indicator is the end of the fermentation process. During the aging period, the infusion must be stirred once a day. A liter of the finished infusion is mixed with two to three liters of water, then the beds are watered with it.

Simple nutritional infusions:

  • the barrel is 2/3 filled with weed, two shovels of ash are poured out, water is added, a lid is put. It takes 10-14 days to cook. Diluted with water for irrigation at the rate of 1 to 10;
  • chicken manure is poured into the barrel by 1/3, water is poured, a lid is placed. The infusion will be ready in 10-14 days, it is important to dilute it with water at least 1 in 20;
  • the barrel is filled by a third with cow and horse manure, then water is added, the lid is installed. After about two weeks, the infusion can be used by mixing with water at a rate of 1 in 10.

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

At the end

Tall beds easily tolerate lingering summer rains. Layer-by-layer insertion of nutrients into the bed box turns it into a ready-made compost box. The fenced garden does not lose nutrients, moisture is well preserved in it after watering, while there is no threat of oversaturation with water. High beds do not need to huddle and dig up – just loosen to a depth of 7 cm.The result is a 100% increase in yield.

The disadvantage of a high bed is the cost of setting it up. For example, a garden bed 6 m long, 30 cm high and one meter wide will take (with the remainder) five boards measuring 40x100x6000 mm (40 mm – thickness). The cost of one such board is about 250 rubles, which means that to build one bed you need 5 x 250 = 1250 rubles. A bag of rotted manure (50 liters) costs 150 rubles, about one and a half bags will be needed for a six-meter bed. Taking into account the cost of nails and lime whitewashing, a high bed 6×1 m will cost 1,650 rubles. But these costs are paid off by high yields..

Igor Lyadov's high beds: how to do it yourself

Note one more advantage of Lyadov’s tall beds – they allow you to free up significant areas of the summer cottage from the crop rotation and equip them for recreation without loss in the volume of the harvest previously obtained on “traditional” beds.

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