Planning a Vegetable Garden (cont)
By: Lynn Ocone
Why Raised Beds
My best-looking and most productive gardens are ones that utilize three-foot-wide raised beds.
- increase the growing area by reducing the amount of space in the garden delegated to paths.
- create order by clearly defining planting areas.
- save resources; fertilizer and compost are applied only in the beds, not broadcast over the entire garden area.
- reduce work; after the first year you won't need to do any heavy cultivation.
- are convenient; it's easy to reach the center of a three-foot-wide bed without walking on it.
- help plants grow better; root crops grow especially well in the loosened, fast-draining soil of raised beds.
- increase planting flexibility; in each bed, you can plant parallel rows of vegetables running the length of the bed.
- Or you can broadcast seeds across the bed in three-foot-wide blocks of any length. Larger plants like eggplants and peppers fit well when staggered in a triangular or diamond pattern.
- adapt well to trellises; an A-frame trellis fits nicely over a three-foot bed and enables you to plant two rows of climbers, such as cucumbers and beans, in one bed.
- adapt well to ready-made season extenders; most fabric row covers and the hoops that support them fit three-foot-wide beds.
- warm up and dry out faster in spring, so plants get a jump on the season.
- are more beautiful! It's the most important reason of all.
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