First Winter Waffle Bed Install

One 4 x 4 ft ‘Waffle Bed,’
One 4 x 8 ft raised bed
Plant with winter cover crops: Perennial Rye and Oats

Materials Used

3hours bed preparation
15 minutes cover crop planting
Water 5 minutes every day for the first week.
Water once a week after first week 5 -10 minutes
Cover crop will start to grow in 10 to 20 days – 1 to 3 weeks

Observations of garden site:
Bermuda grass covers the ground
A stone wall faces the West and heats up as the sun sets
Half the South fence is chain link and half is tall wood pickets
The ground slopes slightly to the center of the garden space away from fence and garage foundation
Dogs can bark for hours
The water faucet is more than 50 ft away

The waffle bed is dug into the ground about 6 inches. The dirt taken out of the waffle bed is put into a 4 x 8 foot area for a berm bed. The waffle bed is planted with oats, and the berm is planted in perennial rye seed. Click on the links to see University of California’s cover crop database. The perennial rye in my garden is shade tolerant as long as it can see sky and it survives on once a week watering and less once it is established.

Cover crops help prepare the soil for spring planting. Roots provide homes and exchange nutrient with beneficial microbial life. The cover crop increase water infiltration into soil. Cover crops hold minerals, nutrients, moisture, organic matter, and microbial life in soil.  Cover crops are turned into the soil to become green manure and/or mulch. Grazing and browsing animals like rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, alpaca, and cows can eat crops and  turn into useful manure for the garden. All manures besides rabbits and alpaca need to be composted to kill pathogens and balance nitrogen ratio.

Next step on garden:
Get a longer hose and fan sprayer
Add greenhouse plastic to make cold house cover
Plant cold house crop
Pick out and cover Bermuda grass to remove it from garden area

Next Installation of Waffle bed tips:
grate – to sift out roots from dirt for the berm bed
cardboard – to put down underneath the berm bed to stop Bermuda grass
ask home gardener to be part of seed planting and watering


About ellieearly

I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. I moved back to Amarillo Feb 2011 after university in at Umass Dartmouth and post college adventures in central rural Tennessee on The Farm and surrounding land. Back in Amarillo I tried staring a business called Better Kitchen Gardens. This year, 2013, the High Plains Food Bank hired me to teach nutrition and gardening at the Mavrick Boys and Girls club. I'm a "Permi" a permaculutralist! I will use this site to share my Amarillo Permi ventures.
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