4.04.2007

Raised Beds: Effective, Efficient Gardening

I am on spring break, so I had some fun today making my blog look a little more springy, since the weather isn't moving in that direction. New gardeners are always asking me about the pros and cons of raised beds. All I can speak about is the pros. They make gardening effective and efficient. The first picture is of my mom's garden with raised beds. When her yard was done during the Superfund project in Kellogg, she decided to do raised beds. JEJ built these raised beds for Mom. The soil was provided by the project, but Mom continues to amend it each year with manure. She wanted them higher so she could garden, weed, and water without bending over. This type has worked well for her. The vegetables are compact in each bed. I will have to post a picture in about three months so you can see how prolific her raised bed vegetables are. ( side note: when JEJ was building these raised beds in Mom's driveway, curious onlookers thought he was building coffins. Finally a neighbor asked since they couldn't figure out where that many deceased family members had come from to need that many coffins! I am glad that was cleared up).
The next picture shows our raised beds. Because we had to spend so much time amending our soil/sand, raised beds helped quicken that process. The amendments are more concentrated so you don't have to fertilize as often. Also, I do cut flowers which reseed like crazy. At first I thought that was delightful. Later I discovered you could only grow so many bachelor buttons and cosmos. The raised beds helped deter reseeding and allowed the smaller plants to grow and not be choked out by cosmos. We placed weed barrier around the raised beds and added bark. This has kept the weeds and reseeded flowers down.
Another advantage to raised beds is less traffic on the garden soil. If you don't walk on the garden plot you don't pack down the soil. The amended soil stays fluffy and easier to work with.
Again, I would recommend raised beds. We used recycled wood so the expense was minimal. Now if the weather would cooperate, we could once again experience the effective, efficient raised beds.

2 comments :

  1. who put in those good looking rocks around the raised beds???

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  2. Every flower bed in Bellemaison is raised. true! and the soil is custom mixed, too. But I am not obsessive/compulsive, honest! :) great post.

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