In her new book Raised Bed Revolution: Build it, Fill it, Plant it … Garden Anywhere! Tara Nolan explains the basics and benefits of gardening with raised beds. Tara suggests creative ways to use raised beds, and demonstrates how gardeners can:
- Expand the growing season: Soil in raised beds thaws much quicker than soil in ground gardens, allowing gardeners to get a head start on planting in the spring.
- Control unwanted guests: If your raised bed is high enough, smaller unwanted guests like rabbits and ground hogs won’t be able to climb in and eat your plants.
- Make crop rotation and companion planting easier: Using a journal and raised beds, you can track where you planted specific crops each year, and avoid planting them in the same location. This makes it easy to rotate crops and improve soil fertility.
- Provide accessibility: Raised beds offer solutions to individuals who love gardening, but may have trouble kneeling or bending down to ground level.
- Increase yield: According to recent studies, a raised bed has the ability to produce more than double the yield of a typical garden.
- Overcome bad soil: If you have soil in your garden that is hard packed or sandy, just place a raised bed garden on top of it. Raised bed gardens allow you to insert your own soil mix and compost.
- Allow for easy drainage: Unlike conventional gardens that can hold water for long periods of time, raised bed gardens can be created to improve drainage capabilities. Including non-compacted soil and drainage holes will keep your plants from getting too saturated.
- Reduce weeds: Implementing landscape fabric in your raised beds can prevent many weeds from creeping up into your raised gardens.
Raised bed gardening is becoming a popular gardening strategy for many reasons. Gardeners who have limited outdoor space can still enjoy gardening by using this method. A raised bed garden can be made in a small backyard, a balcony, or even a paved driveway.
This is the first book for Tara Nolan, a Dundas, Ontario-based garden writer with a sizeable collection of raised beds. She is a co-founder of SavvyGardening.com, does work for the Canadian Garden Council and volunteers at the Royal Botanical Garden in Burlington/Hamilton.
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