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Raised Beds

Gardeners who want to extend their growing season to early spring and late fall will benefit from the warming effect produced by raised beds.  Raised beds warm up faster and allow for early seeding.  This will result in earlier crops.

Another benefit – by establishing a permanent garden layout in which beds and walking paths remain in one place, you will minimize soil compaction. Compaction decreases the air and water plants need grow.  Raised beds aerate the soil to overcome the heavy soil that discourages plant growth. The loosened soil’s increased capacity to hold oxygen and water should result in plants that are healthier and more productive.

Permanent beds should be a size that allows you to reach into the center while standing in the paths. A border such as logs, boards or stones can be used, and will help keep the bed contained. Note that your plants will require more water during dry periods.

An easy way to build the interior of your beds – Cover the area with cardboard or a few layers of  newspaper.  Then place several inches of leaves, grass clippings, or another organic plant matter. Then add compost or topsoil.  Voila!