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Build your raised beds so they're at least 12 inches tall. That reduces back strain because you won't have to bend over as far to reach the plants. If the walls are waist high, you can sit on edges to work the soil and harvest your bounty without having to bend over at all.
The soil in raised 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.
Test Garden Tip: If you fashion hoops over your raised bed like this one, you can drape plastic over them and create a makeshift cold frame to gain a few extra growing weeks in spring and autumn.
Lawn grasses, which have spreading root systems, often infiltrate a standard vegetable garden and become a serious weed. With raised beds, nearby turf won't be able to spread into your crops.
If critters such as rabbits or moles make a mess of your vegetable gardening efforts, thwart them with tall raised beds. Make them 4 feet tall or so for best results.
Set up a series of small raised beds in tidy rows or a pattern and you'll end up with the most visually appealing vegetable garden on your block.
Raised beds provide a healthier environment for beneficial microorganisms and earthworms because there's no foot traffic to compact the soil. And you avoid the time and expense of tilling.
Build your raised beds so you can easily reach the middle from both sides. Most raised beds are 4 feet across because the average person can easily reach about 2 feet.
Test Garden Tip: You should find wide variety of premade post caps available at your local hardware store or home improvement center. They come in a variety of materials including wood, copper, and glass. Some even have solar lights incorporated.
Raised beds are often set up as squares or rectangles that run parallel to one another. But you can add some fun to your landscape by selecting different geometric shapes or patterns. For example, mimic the lines of an architectural feature on your home.
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