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Interested in a growing food in a raised garden bed? Discover the benefits and three plans for real raised bed vegetable gardens.
What Are Raised Beds?
At their simplest, raised beds are soil mounds created directly on the ground, but they are often framed with wood, bricks or other materials for a neat finish. Raised beds are usually filled with a mixture of high-quality potting soil, compost and/or leaf mold. They drain well and are excellent for otherwise difficult areas such as stony, compacted, contaminated, very wet, or nutrient-poor soils. They can even be used on hard surfaces. By attaching hoops to the edges of the beds, netting or shade cloth can easily be added for added crop-protection.
For home vegetable gardens, narrow beds up to four feet wide are best, as this enables the gardener to reach into the center of the bed. This avoids the requirement for digging and disturbing the existing soil structure, and soil compaction is reduced as there is no need to walk on it. Raised beds are also useful for gardeners with limited mobility as they reduce the need to bend and can even be built on raised platforms for wheelchair access.