Grow your own the easy way! Raised-bed gardening offers many benefits including easy maintenance, an expanded growing season, higher yields, and good drainage. Different approaches to raised-bed gardening and the various benefits, plus soil mix recipes andother considerations were presented and discussed by Wilma Penland & Ruth Gonzalez of Reems Creek Nursery. Both enthusiastic and knowledgeable vegetable gardeners, Wilma is the founder of Reems Creek Nursery and has been growing vegetables since her childhood, and Ruth has a background in market gardening and is current President of the Board of Directors of the Organic Growers School based in Asheville.
We learned that other reasons to do raised beds are for improved soil quality, use of areas not ideal for traditional gardening, for convenience, flexibility. The only down side is the increased drying out of soil during hot months; so attention must be paid to watering.
Your imagination is the main ingredient for a making raised bed. You should always keep in mind your easy access to the center and all sides of the bed and not make beds too wide or long. You may want to consider somehow discouraging voles coming in from the bottom.Stay away from toxic materials for your bed including creosote, wood preservatives, glues, paint, etc. Otherwise you can make beds from concrete blocks, untreated wood, hay bales, fabric, stones, forest products, etc. You can purchase plastic beds elevated on legs with rollers and have an attached vertical trellis from Reems Creek Nursery.
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