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Raised Vegetable Gardens

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Raised Vegetable Gardens

Benefit: Overcome Bad Soil with a Raised Vegetable Garden Raised vegetable gardens are the answer if you have sandy or clay soil. Instead of struggling with poor topsoil, all you need to do is fill your raised garden beds with high-quality topsoil and start gardening. Nutrient-rich soil means fewer struggles for plants and less frustration for the gardener. To keep the soil in raised vegetable gardens healthy, continue to feed it with compost and other organic matter. See how quality soil can improve your raised-bed garden. Shop Raised-Bed Kits
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Raised Vegetable Gardens

Grow a Vegetable Garden in Raised Beds Raised garden beds make vegetable gardening less work. Learn the benefits of raised bed gardening, how to build a raised garden bed, and what you need to do to make a raised vegetable garden. By Justin W. Hancock
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Raised Vegetable Gardens

Grow a Vegetable Garden in Raised Beds Raised garden beds make vegetable gardening less work. Learn the benefits of raised bed gardening, how to build a raised garden bed, and what you need to do to make a raised vegetable garden.
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Raised vegetable gardens are the answer if you have sandy or clay soil. Instead of struggling with poor topsoil, all you need to do is fill your raised garden beds with high-quality topsoil and start gardening. Nutrient-rich soil means fewer struggles for plants and less frustration for the gardener. To keep the soil in raised vegetable gardens healthy, continue to feed it with compost and other organic matter.
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Benefit: Stop Grass from Invading with Raised Gardens Lawn grasses, which have spreading root systems, often infiltrate a standard vegetable garden and become a serious weed. But when you practice raised vegetable gardening, nearby turf won’t be able to spread into your vegetable crops.
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The soil in raised vegetable garden beds typically warms earlier in spring than the surrounding earth. It also tends to dry faster, so you can get cool-season crops planted sooner, extending the growing season and your vegetable crop choices just by using raised gardens. Test Garden Tip: To extend the gardening season for your raised garden beds, fashion hoops like these and then drape plastic over them. The makeshift cold frame will help you gain a few extra growing weeks in spring and autumn.
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Benefit: Keep Clean with Raised Vegetable Gardens Spread mulch over the paths between your raised vegetable garden beds and your feet will stay clean, no matter how wet the weather. Because you won’t walk on the raised garden beds, you’ll be able to run out to grab a handful of fresh basil for dinner without worrying about compacting the soil.

Design Tip: Grow Up with Vines in Raised Garden Beds Include trellises, obelisks, or tuteurs in your raised-bed vegetable gardening plans. Buy or build one or two to grow vining crops such as peas, beans, cucumbers, and even tomatoes. The extra height of these raised vegetable gardens brings visual drama to your plantings, especially if most of what you grow is relatively short. Check out these fun ways to grow tomatoes. Shop Trellises & More
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Raised garden beds make vegetable gardening less work. Learn the benefits of raised bed gardening, how to build a raised garden bed, and what you need to do to make a raised vegetable garden.
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Raised-bed vegetable gardening can reduce back strain because you won’t have to bend over as far to reach the plants. With easier access and less pain potential, you’re better able to enjoy the labor involved in planting, tending, and harvesting your raised vegetable garden. Raised garden bed tip: Build your raised garden beds so they’re at least 12 inches tall. If the walls are slightly below waist level, you can sit on edges to work the soil and harvest your bounty without having to bend over at all.
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Design Tip: Space Raised Garden Beds Correctly In your raised vegetable gardening plans, leave enough space between the beds to easily maneuver a wheelbarrow for adding soil, harvesting, spreading mulch, or other activities. Similarly, if you have grass paths between your raised vegetable garden beds, make sure you build your raised garden bed with enough space to comfortably run your lawn mower.
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Design Tip: Use Long-Lasting Materials for a Raised Vegetable Garden When selecting materials for your DIY raised garden beds, choose rot-resistant lumber such as cedar or redwood. Or look for other materials, such as brick, stone, or concrete, to create build raised beds you won’t need to rebuild. Get the wood look when making a raised garden bed with composite materials. Learn to build a brick raised-bed garden.
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Design Tip: Come Up with a Pattern for Your Raised Garden Beds Raised vegetable garden beds are often set up as squares or rectangles that run parallel to one another. But you can add some fun to your raised-bed gardening landscape by arranging the raised garden beds in different geometric shapes or patterns. For example, mimic the lines of an architectural feature on your home. Whatever shape you design, remember to allow yourself room to reach into the raised garden beds and to move between them.
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The soil in raised vegetable garden beds typically warms earlier in spring than the surrounding earth. It also tends to dry faster, so you can get cool-season crops planted sooner, extending the growing season and your vegetable crop choices just by using raised gardens.
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Include trellises, obelisks, or tuteurs in your raised-bed vegetable gardening plans. Buy or build one or two to grow vining crops such as peas, beans, cucumbers, and even tomatoes. The extra height of these raised vegetable gardens brings visual drama to your plantings, especially if most of what you grow is relatively short.
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In your raised vegetable gardening plans, leave enough space between the beds to easily maneuver a wheelbarrow for adding soil, harvesting, spreading mulch, or other activities. Similarly, if you have grass paths between your raised vegetable garden beds, make sure you build your raised garden bed with enough space to comfortably run your lawn mower.
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Raised vegetable garden beds are often set up as squares or rectangles that run parallel to one another. But you can add some fun to your raised-bed gardening landscape by arranging the raised garden beds in different geometric shapes or patterns. For example, mimic the lines of an architectural feature on your home. Whatever shape you design, remember to allow yourself room to reach into the raised garden beds and to move between them.
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Raised vegetable gardening bed designs can be attractive landscape features. Dress them up with details that add style to their utilitarian form. For example, give corner posts in a raised garden a cap or paint the wood frames to match your house. Test Garden Tip: A wide variety of premade post caps is available at your local hardware store or home improvement center. Post caps for raised garden beds come in materials including wood, copper, and glass. Some even have solar lights incorporated, adding highlights to your raised garden bed.
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Lawn grasses, which have spreading root systems, often infiltrate a standard vegetable garden and become a serious weed. But when you practice raised vegetable gardening, nearby turf won’t be able to spread into your vegetable crops.
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Step One // How to Build a Raised Vegetable Garden Overview Illustration by Carl Wiens Roger and the kids made this bed with rot-resistant cedar, a material that’s safe around the edible plants it will contain. Cedar will also turn a nice silvery gray as it weathers.The bed here is 10 feet long, but you can make yours as long as the lumber allows. However, it should be no more than 4 feet wide so that little arms can reach the plants in the middle. Roger cut stakes from 2x4s and angled one end to a point to hold the frame in place and keep the sides from bowing once it’s filled with heavy soil.Vegetable gardens need a lot of light, so Roger and his helpers placed the bed in an area that gets sun for most of the day. To improve drainage and prevent weeds from growing up into the garden, he removed the grass beneath the bed and tilled the earth before adding soil.
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Raised-bed vegetable gardening can reduce back strain because you won’t have to bend over as far to reach the plants. With easier access and less pain potential, you’re better able to enjoy the labor involved in planting, tending, and harvesting your raised vegetable garden.
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Before placing your raised beds in their permanent location, be sure to remove grass or perennial weeds from the area. Use a garden fork or shovel to loosen the native soil to a depth of 6-10″. This will improve drainage and moisture retention in the raised beds. It also means that even with a 5″-high raised bed, your plants will think they’re growing in a bed that’s 12-18″ deep — plenty of room for carrots, potatoes, full-size tomato plants and most any other vegetable you’d ever want to grow.
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Step Three // How to Build a Raised Vegetable Garden Square up the frame Photo by Ask This Old House TV With the four sides assembled, place a framing square in each corner, one at a time, and adjust the frame until the corner lines up square. After aligning the entire frame, check all four corners again with the framing square. Roger Cook says: “The great thing about a raised garden is that you can put in the 
perfect soil for whatever you want to grow.”

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22 Photos of the "Raised Vegetable Gardens"

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