Raised Bed Polyculture vs 5 Gal Pot/Grow bag

Hey all, first timer here looking for some guidance.

I am looking to try some AK-47 Auto outside in a hot/humid area. I initially built a raised bed for the task with the plan to plant several companion plants (chamomile, yarrow, green beans, marigolds, basil and sunflowers). I’m really intrigued by the idea of using organic/natural methods to create a symbiosis that produces beautiful healthy plants. That said, I’m also very concerned about heat/humidity (especially as we enter summer here where it can get into the 100’s for days).

The more I’m reading, it sounds like it may be preferable to grow in individual pots/bags instead so I can easily move the plants to shade. The raised bed area does get some shade from trees around it but would also get a good amount of direct light on some of those scorching days.

Does anyone have any experience comparing and contrasting these methods? Is one preferable to the other given the environmental circumstances? I really want to try outdoors as there is just something kind of sterile and boring about working inside to me (I like being in nature), but if that’s what I must do I will adapt. Thanks for any help.

1 Like

I do both…bags are great!

In the garden palnts get HUGE!


Wow beautiful pics, very inspiring and motivating to see the possibilities (love to see a doggo helper in the garden too).

I’m not sure of the climate in your area, but have you ever had heat/humidity issues with the plants that are in the garden bed? If so, how did you mitigate?

Here are a few things that I have learned over the past many years while growing in the high desert. Hope some of it helps….

*First thing is allowing your plants to properly acclimate to the environment at a young age. This will allow them to get use to the hot humid days. This is an area that shouldn’t be overlooked when growing in hatch environments.

*Also think about adding a cover crop. Clover or something along those lines. Once that grows alittle cut it down and choke it out with straw. This will cause the cover crop to die and turn into a green mulch. This covering over the top of the soil will aid with evaporation on hot days and also warmth in those cooler nights.

*Make sure to water early in the mornings before the sun comes out. This will help the roots absorb what they can and allow the water to saturate into the soil.

*Spray the foliage as little as possible. If you do spray make sure to spray in the evening. This will allow for all the spray do me dried off the leaves before the sun comes out.

*On the hot humid days it’s about keeping those roots cool. Toss a small fan under the canopy. This will move the stair air around.


Super helpful tips and beautiful pics, very much appreciated. Had just a couple questions when/if you get a chance to reply:

  1. When you say acclimating at a young age, do you believe its better to direct sow? I have anxiety around things I’ve seen others talking about when you use flats; stretching, hardening and transplanting. I’m thinking I’ll soak seeds to get a tap root, then direct sow it into the garden after in a bit of damp starter soil and some mycho granules. Do you have any recommendations one way or another here?

  2. You mentioned not getting the leaves wet which makes sense, but then how do you deal with rain?

  3. I have a little cover for my raised bed that acts as a greenhouse zip up cover - it seems to me that this could be useful during germination but that I would not want to use it after that as the humidity it generates could cause mold. Are there any instances in which I’d want to use this cover?

Really appreciate any and all guidance you have to offer - I’m trying to just relax and enjoy the process, but the myriad variables and unknowns that come with the first time doing anything have me a bit anxious. Also curious - what seeds are those in the close up pic you shared? Thanks again.

1 Like
  1. Acclimate in regards to the hardening phase ect. Yep! This step is super duper important and commonly overlooked.
    *I start our plants indoor March first. Come mid May the hardening phase for me will take about two to three weeks. At this time slowingninteoducing them to the outside world. Alittle bit at a time. Introducing them to 100% fresh air, natural sun, changing temps, light cycles. There really is a lot in the change.

  2. Rain is alright. When flowering starts and a heaving rain sets in a bust out the leaf blower. As soon as the rain stops I blow off the plants. Trying to remove any moisture from the flowers thag I can. Just little things like that.
    *Kinda like don’t spray your plants in the morning. You do this because intense sun can hit water droplets and cause the plant to burn. Like a magnifying lens.

  3. Durring germination people use some to creat humidity. Allowing the plant to absorbs through the leaves. Once the tap root gets ahold there is really no need to cover the plant. The little roots are now forming allowing for nutrients uptake to happen underground.
    *You could use it durring cold nights. Try to keep alittle heat in while they are young. All depending on size.

1 Like

I think that’s a Grape Jelly in the photo. Maybe a Sticky Icky in the mix.

1 Like

I’m doing a dry run with some regular flowers and veggies in a humidity dome setup with a self watering mat just using the window sill and immediately realizing this is causing leggy seedlings. I guess I need to invest in a light, or just direct sow when its projected to be consistently warm again.

Using the light and having to do transplants and hardening seem like they introduce way more variables and chances for contamination/weak seedlings vs. one time plop and immediate introduction to the sun - but I guess I then lose out on more precise control of the environment. Anyway I really appreciate the advice and will definitely be keeping this all in mind! When I have something of substance to share I’ll try to post some pics in a new post.

1 Like