new raised garden beds

haplo_wm(7)August 1, 2007

Hello all.

I just bought my first house and it has a large yard with a garden plot (about 8'x12'). Within two weeks I had a large yard and weed plot (about 2' high weeds).

I fought back and the weeds are now residing in the bottom of my new compost bin.

Ok, on to the real topic. Rather than use the ground-level existing 8x12 plot to grow vegetables, I think I should probably do a raised garden plot for two reasons: 1) I have a 9 month old puppy who thinks that a large plot of dirt is great fun. Raising it, even a little, should make it easier to convince her that it's off-limits. And 2) this should increase drainage and let me set up a lasagna garden.

Is this correct? Is raised better than ground level? If raised is better, how high should I make the walls?

My next question is that, if raised is better, what should I use for sides? I was thinking that a small wall of piled slate would be attractive and allow for good drainage. However, this would be more expensive and use up a good deal more room (see thrid question below). All the pictures I've seen on this site use wood, but I'm concerned with appearance and durability.

Any suggestions?

Lastly, should I stick to a single plot or should I break this up into multiple 4x8 rectangles or 4x4 squares, ala square foot gardening? If I'm making slate walls, this could use up a lot of room.

What have you had success with? Pros and cons of each?



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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Because a raised bed drains well, it also dries out quickly.
BUT a raised bed allows you to very easily control your soil mix....but unless you make it a very high ( 2 feet or more) bed you better make sure the soil mix is blended with the sub soil.
Two of the best vegetable gardeners I know grow in raised in beds a foot high and the other in 2 1/2 foot high beds. Both gardens are only 2 feet wide and really ugly, don't contribute to the landscape.
AND I also know many people who grow amazing things flat on the ground.
Personally I wouldn't bother with a raised bed unless you are going to really seriously grow veggies, rotate the crops and plant repeat crops of successive plants.
Your dog will be a dependable adult in the summer of 09 and you will still have the raised beds you are trying to keep watered.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:41PM
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