Raised Bed gardening
Block style, raised bed vegetable gardening has many advantages including less soil compaction, higher yields, less weeding and water conservation.
Raised beds are easy to construct with 2 X 6, 2 X 8 and 2X 10 construction lumber or other landscaping timbers. Untreated construction lumber lasts for many years and is less prone to warping than treated lumber. Four feet is an ideal width because it allows gardeners to easily reach into the bed without stepping in it. The length can be chosen to fit the space. Allow two to three feet between beds for walkways. Make the box by attaching the four-foot end sections onto the sides with long decking screws.
Place the box in the desired location and add soil. Ideally this soil is similar to the site soil and contains 5% organic content. If the added soil is different, it should be mixed with the soil below to avoid a textural interface that interferes with water and air movement. When purchasing soil amendments or top soil, be cautious as some may contain high salts.
Raised beds separate walkways, minimizing compaction to plant growing beds.
In mulching raised beds, use wood chips on walkways and dried grass clippings on plant growing beds. Raised beds are easy to water with drip irrigation and soaker hoses.
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Updated Monday, March 03, 2014