I love raised garden beds for many reasons, but mainly, because they are so low maintenance. There are many raised beds to choose from including buying them prefabbed or designing and building your own.
They have many advantages over planting conventional in-ground gardens.
The most important step is getting off to a great start with the perfect soil, which is the key to a great garden. Match your soil and any amendments to what you plan to grow. Plants grow much better when they have lots of organic matter and good drainage. A well drained soil will enable the root system to grow easily, and to absorb more water and oxygen. Tending the beds from the sides prevents soil compaction (make tending even easier by sitting on a footstool or garden caddy). The soil in beds warms faster in the spring, and stays warm longer, which extends the growing season. Place a good weed barrier beneath the soil for minimal weeding.
Healthy plants produce more flowers and vegetables so they can be planted a little closer together. This also provides some bottom shade to discourage weeds. Just keep in mind that some vegetables take up a lot of space. Overcrowding can promote powdery mildew and fungus.
Place raised beds in any sunny location and build them out of rocks, timbers, or concrete blocks.
Start your raised beds now and plan for bigger yields!
I also like container gardening, pictured below, which has the same concept as raised bed gardening but on a smaller scale. Some good container crops are bok choy, artichoke, celery, cucumber, arugula, lettuce, chard, onion, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, snap beans, peas, and most herbs.
By Miss Lady Bug