How to Grow Organic Vegetables in Raised Beds


Hi Im Tricia an organic gardener I grow
organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Gardening in raised beds is an old technique that never seems to go out of style. The benefits of gardening in raised beds
are plentiful. Good drainage, the soil warms up quicker, and usually you have a little bit more
productivity. Raised beds can be as simple as a mound
of dirt about three to four feet wide or as elaborate as my redwood raised beds. Framed beds should be at least six inches
high. Mine are two feet tall which is great to make a bigger root zone or if your gardening from a wheelchair. For maximum sun exposure lay out your garden beds for low growing
crops in a north-south direction. For trellised crops and vines it’s recommended
that you do an east-west direction. Position your beds away from the roots of big trees or shrubs and make sure you have full sun and
enough room between the beds for your wheelbarrow or garden cart. Your bed should be no more than four feet
across, you want to be able to reach across and work in them comfortably and you don’t want to step in them. Your beds can be as long as you like,
twenty five feet is ideal because most fertilizer application rates are by the
hundred square feet. Four feet by twenty five feet, that’s pretty easy math for me. For long beds like that it’s important to
have supports stakes every six feet or so. Once you’ve decided on your location, lay
out your bed. Strings and stakes or field paint are great
options. Now it’s time to choose your materials
you can make raised beds out of recycled building materials such as cinder blocks
bricks wood and composite decking. A word of caution about lumber, don’t use
lumber thats treated with either creosote or pentachlorophenol, those are toxic. Untreated redwood and cedar will last the
longest. There are also kits available like this mini
farm box that are easy to install. Once you’ve chosen your location and your
materials, loosen the soil, and remove all vegetation. A digging fork or broad fork are the best
tools for this job. If you have a gopher problem like I do, put down gopher wire and then lay weed fabric on top of the wire to prevent weeds from growing into your beds. Gopher wire is better than aviary wire.
The holes are smaller and it’s heavier duty and will not rot out as soon
as aviary wire. These mini farm boxes are great they come in tables rolling containers, or beds as large as
four feet by eight feet by seventeen inches. These are made from attractive untreated
cedar and don’t worry about irrigation there are
kits available for the mini farm box. Another option especially if your using
recycled wood are these decorative garden end braces. Simply slide any two inch lumber into
the brace and embrace your garden. End braces are a great option because it’s
easy to change the size and location of your raised bed later. Out of the box the end braces are not rusted but they will rust
overtime if you don’t like the rustic look just paint them before installing with a rust proof paint. For really inexpensive raised bed use these three hundred gallon smart
pot. For a twelve inch rooting zone use this big
bag bed. The smart pots last about three to five years just unfold them and fill them up with good potting soil. Soil for raised beds can usually be purchased
in bulk from a landscape supply company. If you don’t have that resource, trying a mix of one part compost or
other organic matter one part perlite and two parts soil. The mini farm boxes, the end braces and the
smart pots are great options if you have a small space, a patio garden
or if you’re renting your home. If you move you can take your garden
with you. So build a raised bed and grow organic for life!

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