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Raised Bed Organic Gardening

Raised Bed Garden Design

Raised bed organic gardening is an excellent method of growing plants. For organic gardening, you need garden soil testing for soil ph. Create a raised bed garden design that best fits your space.

Raised bed organic gardening is a highly effective method of organic gardening. Organic vegetable gardening can produce enough vegetables (and fruits) for you and your family for the whole summer.

We usually have enough produce to share with our neighbours; although we try to do an exchange for fruit from their organic fruit tree harvest! Delicious, juicy and crisp apples.

We sometimes have an over abundance of vegetables that we use to cook (check out our organic vegetable recipes - my favorite is the eggplant recipe for ratatouille).

Most important to your garden's success is to ensure that the raised bed garden design fits the space, the hours of sunshine, and the types of vegetables and fruits you wish to plant.

Benefits of Raised Bed Organic Gardening are:

  • The soil does not get compacted. This helps aeration and drainage. Consequently you have healthier plants. The soil is also easier to work with as it stays loose
  • Being off the ground and higher, the soil warms up more quickly in the Spring. This allows you to plant your vegetables earlier
  • Root vegetables thrive in the looser soil
  • You are able to decide what soil mix goes into your raised bed
  • Maintaining your vegetable garden is easier. As it is higher you have less bending down. With the right frame you can sit down while you work
  • Weeds come out effortlessly because the soil is looser (therefore organic weed killer is typically unnecessary)
  • Yields can be higher
  • There is no digging. The soil remains loose because it is not walked on and because the organisms within it keep it aerated with plenty of space between particles
  • It is easier to protect your seedlings from birds, rabbits, frost and other ‘pests’, by attaching covers and nets etc

There are other advantages for your raised bed organic gardening venture, such as minimizing the risk of soil erosion.

Unframed Raised Bed Garden Design

Before I show you how to build a raised bed for your vegetables I should mention that raised beds do not necessarily have to be framed. There are disadvantages compared to a framed bed though.

However, unframed raised beds are used by some gardeners, often as a temporary measure (a frame being erected around the bed once the soil mix is in place), so I will outline the steps for creating one before going on to a framed bed.

  • Mark out your plot area
  • Dig out the soil in that area to a depth of around 8" and put it to one side. You can do this all at once or do it in sections as I do. See picture 1
  • Dig into the next layer of soil in the plot area to loosen it all up
  • Add enough organic matter such as compost and/or manure to cover the area and raise it by 4"-8". See picture 2 where I have added a mix of organic animal manure and composted grass
  • Transfer the soil that you first removed back onto the plot area, or in my example over the manure and compost, and mix it with the organic matter, taking care not to compact it, but keeping it loose
  • You now have a raised bed garden

Unframed raised beds do run the risk of soil erosion from the edges as the soil is unsupported. This can happen through heavy rain. Soil nutrients can be lost in this way; do garden soil testing annually to ensure you are using the best soil available (soil ph testers are available at garden centers to test the types of soil in your garden). There are a number of different ways to build a raised bed garden. Once you build yours, you will find the benefits make it worth your while.

To avoid the risk of soil nutrient loss (without a raised bed), learn how to Build Your Own Framed Raised Garden Bed (or buy one). Whether you build a framed or unframed bed, raised bed vegetable gardening is an excellent way to build your organic garden.

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Natural Soil Aeration

Soil with a good population of worms in it is a healthy soil. If your existing soil has plenty of worms then you just need to keep them happy while your vegetables grow.

Worms in your soil keep it aerated and maintain a functioning drainage system. Worms are, in effect, tilling your soil.

Worms do not destroy the soil structure or pollute the environment with petrol fumes and residues (as heavy machinery do).

By creating space with their burrowing, worms allow air to circulate, water to drain, and roots to grow.

More on Worms: What do Worms Eat?

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Disclaimer: The content of this page is an opinion and is not meant to be medical advice. We do not make any therapeutic claims for herbal supplements. This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in providing medical advice or professional services. Please consult with your doctor, health care practioner or professional service provider for specific problems or advice. Many recipes have been tested however some are submissions: no guarantee is given that the ingredients or directions provided are correct and complete.

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