Raised beds require some initial work, but when you're finished, maintenance is a breeze, throughout the growing season and fall and spring chores. Better still, renewing your soil becomes easier with each passing year. In just a few years, you'll have the most friable soil you've seen. Raised beds are warmer, allowing you to plant earlier. Raised beds also drain better than conventional gardens, giving your crops an important advantage. Since the beds need never be walked on, no soil compaction occurs.
Enclosed in a wooden box or even hay bales, the beds look neater, but an enclosure is not necessary. You can simply mound the amended soil covering an area about four feet by eight feet. These dimensions assure you can comfortably reach all areas of the raised beds.
Whichever option you choose, install screening on top of the ground, fine enough to keep out moles and gophers. Then add your soil. Water and fertilize, then wait three days before planting. Give some earthworms a home in your new raised beds.
Raised beds can be planted more densely than a conventional garden, often with larger yields per square foot. Denser plantings and well mulched beds keep weeds to a minimum.
Interplanting techniques can increase yields as well. For example, staging successive plantings of carrots, basil and tomatoes has three advantages: The carrots and basil receive light shade and cooler temperatures beneath the tomato's branches on the hottest summer days. The tomatoes thrive in the same space. Basil is a companion plant for tomatoes, enhancing tomato flavor and deterring pests. All in a small space.
Gravel walkways at least two feet wide between the beds keeps weeding chores down and allow comfortable access. You can use wood chips over black plastic to prevent walkway weeds entirely. You can go fancy with brick pathways. Certain herbs, bulbs and common garden flowers may be planted at the perimeters of walkways to deter a variety of garden pests.
When fall comes, and the crops are finished, prepare your beds for winter. Pull plants and work the soil lightly. Mix in compost and leaf mold to enrich your beds. A winter cover crop of alfalfa or red clover will fix nitrogen in the soil for a good start in the spring.
“Start small” is good advice for beginning gardeners. If you construct only one bed this year, it will be fun and manageable as you learn the ropes. Raised beds are the perfect add-as-you-go-along project. Start small your first year. You'll be delighted with the results and armed with enthusiasm and experience to expand next year's garden.
With this app you can find out all about Gardening and Raised Garden Beds. We are not affiliate with any company or product listed in this application. We do not represent any product or business in this app.