Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Real Food Idea . . . Raised Bed Gardening

I found this great article on Planet Natural's site and thought it might also inspire you.  As the seedlings you are growing in your window sills or small pots are ready to move outside, here's a great idea.  No bending to weed!!!  Plus you don't even need a plot of earth, just a little horizontal space anywhere, even on a rooftop!


For centuries, people have been gardening in raised beds. Since these are merely garden beds where the soil level is higher than that on the paths around them, it may not be obvious what advantages they offer -- except to gardeners with bad backs, that is, who don't have to stoop as far to tend plants. Actually, though, raised beds improve drainage, use space more efficiently, increase yield, and simplify the control of weeds and pests. These are things that benefit all gardeners, including those whose backs are in excellent condition.

Advantages of Raised Beds

Improved Soil
The soil in raised beds is usually superior to that in row gardens in part because it never gets stepped on (much less subjected to the weight of machines) and therefore does not get compacted. Beyond that, filling beds usually becomes an opportunity to get high-quality soil and to fine-tune the mix of fertilizer and amendments. This is a more affordable (and therefore attractive) prospect than it might at first seem since none of these additions get wasted on or in paths: all the good stuff goes into the beds themselves.

Improved Drainage
Raised garden beds are made to order for those whose native soil drains either too quickly or too slowly. The mere fact of being raised improves drainage in clay soils, but the real kicker is that you can mix the soil to your own specifications, creating a fine loam even where clay or sandy soil prevails.

Increased Yield
A raised bed warms up more quickly than does the surrounding soil in spring, so it's possible to plant in them earlier than in a flat bed. The light soil improves the movement of both water and air, and roots can spread out in search of nutrients more easily than in compacted dirt. It's therefore possible to plant a raised bed more densely than one would the same amount of space in a traditional garden, which translates into higher yields.

Continue reading here (

Have any of you tried raised bed gardening? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

If you haven't found the seeds you are looking for, here are a few additional sources for organic and heirloom seeds that I've used. If you have any great resources I'm sure everyone would love to benefit from your experience, so please share!

Now I'm ready to plot out a beautiful garden, hope you are too!  Keep in mind that no matter what your limitations are you can still have a beautiful little garden, even if it's a few pots, some wooden boxes or a garden table . . .

Dr. P


  1. I have raised flower beds on 2 sides of my house. It is really nice to be able to sit and weed (oh, that sounds lazy). I would suggest that anyone would probably like to garden this way, unfortunately garter snakes still find their way in (yuck).

  2. I don't think it's lazy at all . . . simply easier on your back and knees and that makes it smarter. You know the saying, "work smarter not harder!"