Raised Bed Gardening

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If you are thinking about backyard gardening, here is a quick primer on raised beds including some planning tips and things to consider when laying out your garden.

Raised bed  gardens can reduce back strain because you won’t have to bend over as far to reach the plants. With easier access and less pain potential, you're better able to enjoy the labor involved in planting, tending, and harvesting your raised vegetable garden.

Build your raised beds so they're at least 12 inches tall. If the walls are slightly below waist level, you can sit on edges to work the soil and harvest your bounty without having to bend over at all.

Spread mulch over the paths between your raised garden and your feet will stay clean, no matter how wet the weather. Because you won't walk on the garden beds you'll be able to run out to grab a handful of fresh basil for dinner without worrying about compacting the soil.

Raised vegetable gardens are the answer if you have sandy or clay soil. Instead of struggling with poor topsoil, all you need to do is fill your raised bed with high-quality topsoil and start gardening.  Nutrient-rich soil means fewer struggles for plants and less frustration for the gardener. To keep the soil in raised vegetable gardens healthy, continue to feed it with compost and other organic matter.

Lawn grasses, which have spreading root systems, often infiltrate a standard vegetable garden and become a serious weed. But when you practice raised gardening, nearby turf won't be able to spread into your vegetable crops.

Build your raised beds so you can easily reach the middle from both sides. Most raised gardens are 4 feet across because the average person can easily reach about 2 feet.

In your plans, leave enough space between the bed to easily maneuver a wheelbarrow for adding soil, harvesting, spreading mulch, or other activities. Similarly, if you have grass paths between your raised vegetable garden beds, make sure you build your bed with enough space to comfortably run your lawn mower.

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