Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Raised Beds?

Why do so many people use, and recommend, raised beds for their vegetable gardening?  Well, for one, you can plant earlier in the season, as the soil warms sooner in a raised bed.  They also hold the warmth longer in the season, so you can grow later in the year.  If your beds are tall enough there is less bending to weed and harvest.  You don't step on your plants, or compact the soil around the roots.  It can help keep pets out of the garden!  Plants can be grown a bit closer together.  You can better control your soil mixtures, and begin your raised bed garden life with purchased soil without the hassle of digging up your yard, testing the soil, and amending it as needed for your vegetables.  Raised beds drain better. 

What was that last one? 

Raised beds drain better.

That is why I chose raised vegetable beds and apple tree planter.  I actually had no other choice, if I wanted to grow vegetables.   As mentioned before, I have clay soil.

It rained last night.  And the night before.  And all the day before that.   A lot.  As a result, I have some photos showing you just what clay soil is and why it would not sustain vegetable life. 



This water will be there for at least a week, barring any more rain, which is expected.  It sits in unfilled cinder block holes.  It is slippery, gooey, and sticks to the dogs' paws and bellies like black glue.  Boo loves it. He can't understand why I refuse to throw his tennis ball.

But, the new garden soil is still soft, light, with the consistency of potting soil, which garden soil is not to be confused with!  My peas seeds have not floated to the top to wash away.  They still haven't sprouted, but they haven't washed away.  That reminds me...I think I might dig around to see where they have gotten to.  They should be up by now. 


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