Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised bed gardening holds many advantages for the gardener as well as the plants. The traditional garden soil is packed down from walking on it and as a result it is not porous and airy like it should be.

A raised bed garden is created by building up soil as much as 6 or 8 inches and sometimes even incorporates boards, stones, bricks or concrete blocks to make it more permanent.

This creates an area that is not stepped on but is still easily accessible.

I like to make the raised bed garden a little more secure by using non-treated lumber around the perimeter and then filling the bed with rotten pine bark composted material and well aged manure such as baa-baa doo (sheep manure) to make a rich substance that will grow my vegetables into some fine produce.

As a general rule you can make the beds as long as you like however you should keep them to no more than 4 feet wide to make them easily accessible from either side of the bed.

When using the raised bed gardening method year after year, you should vary the planting patterns making sure to not plant the same crop in the same location two years in a row.

This helps to keep the soil balanced since different plants use different ratios of nutrients. This also helps discourage bugs and pests that are specific to a certain type of vegetable.

Make sure the bed always faces an East/West position to maximize sunlight availability.

A few years back I had moved into a new house and decided to incorporate the raised bed gardening methods.. I also decided to make it real easy on myself by using lots of mulch in the beds as well as all around my two 4×20 beds.

I also buried soaker hose beneath the surface of the soil in the beds in a “U” pattern and put it on a timer for automatic watering.

You can call that lazy all you want but I was and am a very busy guy and that was what worked for me.

I went on later that year to install vertical trellises on one side for the cucumbers and cantaloupes to climb.. this was a bit of an ordeal since I had to support the crop once it started getting heavy but it sure conserved space and I had a lot of fun as well.

Raised bed gardening is a little time consuming to get set up at first but after that it is very efficient gardening and your plants will love you for it!

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