Thursday, February 7, 2013

Raised Beds

There are endless advantages to raised bed gardening.
-Weed control
-Organic Produce without the steep grocery store price
-Better Soil control
-More efficient irrigation
-Higher yield
-Longer Growing Season
-Pest Control (You can put chicken wire down underneath to stop gophers, and you can net small boxes easier than a traditional garden, etc).
An excellent website, devoted to the topic of raised beds,  RAISED GARDEN says,

"Actually, a raised bed garden speaks for itself. We all know our food supply needs help and that pollution is a problem. You can nail two problems with one stone...or timber, or rubber tire...when you build raised garden beds. The environmental advantages of raised bed gardening include: 

  • Organic gardening compost to help raise healthy plants--sphagnum peat moss, organic manure, mushroom compost, leaves, grass clippings, rotted hay or straw--even leaves!
  • Plants that are sustainable in any type of soil, even heavy alkaline
  • Organic gardening that respects the seasons--if you've started your planting late, radishes, summer squash, lettuce, mustard greens, yellow wax beans, green beans, cucumbers and broccoli grow and ripen quickly. Roses are resistant to 100-degree summer heat, and raised garden beds make watering easier.
  • Design that can use whatever you have on hand as a frame.
  • Remember your elementary science? Plants have to breathe. You have to breathe. Even soil has to breathe. Giving air to your clay or sand-based soil, or soil aeration, is vital to organic bardening. It helps the soil: 
  • Be more moist but not too wet.
    • Hold water whatever the soil texture--grainy or sandy soils may not hold water as easily..
    • Stay temperate, not too hot or too cold.
    • Promote healthy bacteria growth--that's right, some bacteria assist plants.
    • Have a low bulk density, which means the soil has better physical condition.
    • Absorb organic gardening compost--just mix the compost with the soil.

    One of the advantages of raised bed gardening is that you can aerate the soil more easily with raised beds or mounded soil. Raised garden beds limit the gardening area and make it easier to work with the soil. In addition, the height allows more air to permeate the garden. Congratulations--you still remember elementary science. Now if you could only reemember algebra.

Here are some step-by-step tutorials from The Pioneer Woman and Better Homes and Gardens.
Raised Vegetable Beds with Irrigation Drip

Raised Beds with Netting for climbers
Raised Beds with Lattice and PVC

And I think one of the most important reasons why this is on my 'to do' list is because I'd really rather not be buying produce out of Season, from another continent, that I don't know who, how, where it is coming order for my little children to eat it up. I've been a believer of supporting of the "LOCAL" table movement...and what is more "LOCAL" than a salad coming out of your backyard?
Planting Season is right around the corner...just saying.

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