Raised Garden Beds
Out-Produce All Other Methods
Even If you have perfect loam soil, raised garden beds will produce more vegetables in less space with less work than any other method of gardening. Here is why.
For centuries, you human gardeners have plowed your ground, added amendments and plant food, then organized the space into rows for planting. You then trample up and down the rows to plant, water, weed, feed and harvest your plants. Pretty soon the soil is so compacted the weeds hardly grow. And, what a waste of soil amendments, fertilizer and water. There is a better way.
Planting in raised garden beds avoids the compaction, because you don’t walk on them. (Well I do, but I only weigh a little over
.) And with raised beds, you only put the amendments, plant food
(organic is best)
and water where the plants are.
There are many other
benefits of raised bed gardening.
Here I am in one of the raised beds I garden in. The soil is worked up and ready for spring planting. This one is made of 2” x 8” lumber, and is 4 feet wide and 11 feet long. We have a bunch of these in various sizes and materials.
Constructing Your Raised Garden Beds
First size up the space you have for your new beds. Choosing raised beds, means a more productive garden, so even a small space is worthwhile. About 400 to 600 square feet will provide most of your family's fresh veggie needs, if you practice intensive gardening. If you have more space, great!
In addition to the
French Intensive Gardening Method
, Mel Bartholomew, an engineer turned gardener, has popularized what he calls
square foot gardening
. As you review these two methods, you will discover many secrets that will allow you to get the most from your raised garden beds.
I will also offer many of my own tips on
growing in raised bed vegetable gardens
, including how to space your plants, how to stay off your knees and which plants to grow vertically and how.
So, where to start? If you have pretty good soil, you can loosen and work up you native soil, adding organic matter to improve structure and increase the volume to bank up the earth into your new beds.
If not, consider using lumber or other materials for
constructing raised bed gardens.
These are easy to build, and I can offer some important thoughts on
choosing materials and building them.
No matter which type appeals to you or what materials you choose to use, build your own raised beds, and you will begin to harvest a greater bounty of fresh vegetables with less work than you ever thought possible.
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