Many of us are anxiously waiting to get out into our gardens… longing to plant that first seed or plant, while others are anticipating a first-time garden. If you want to experiment with something new this year, try growing in raised beds. They’re an easy alternative to tilling up a section of your yard, especially if you have limited space.
Here are some tips on how to build a raised bed
*The lumber should be minimum 12″ high for proper root growth. Ash or maple are good choices.
*Raised beds (RB) can be as long as you’d like, but no wider than 4′. This allows you to ‘reach in’ from both sides without ‘stepping in’ your RB compacting the soil, making proper root growth difficult. I use 4’x8’ RB at our farm.
*Find a sunny location in your yard and decide how many will fit in your space.
*Fill your RB with layers of well rotted manure, compost, grass clippings, hay or straw and top with a rich, loamy soil heaping about three to four inches higher than the sides. It will settle.
*After the RB is planted, lay newspaper (NOT colored, glossy print sections) about 3-4 sections thick between your plants, top with a layer of grass clippings or straw to mulch. You’ll have virtually NO weeding!
*Water thoroughly and enjoy your new garden!
Raised beds are no fuss, no muss, require very little maintenance, no tilling and can grow almost everything! Give them a try!
For a concise book on Raised Bed gardening I recommend “Lasagna Gardening” by Patricia Lanza. I also recommend companion planting with all your growing ventures. I use Louise Riotte‘s, “Carrots Love Tomatoes”. These books will give you a great start to your gardening season.
… now I’m off to play in the dirt!