Raised garden beds solve so many garden problems. Once you contain a garden, you can control the soil, water just where needed, eliminate erosion problems, improve accessibility, and move things where you want them. If you are new to gardening or struggling with your growing space, you may wish to join the raised bed revolution.
This content from Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It…Garden Anywhere
by Tara Nolan is used with permission from Quarto Publishing Group USA who also provided a review copy of this book.
Raised Beds Solve Many Problems
I resisted raised garden beds for many years. My stubborn brain was fixated on trying to grow a massive, overflowing cottage garden filled with flowers and veggies using the soil provided on our little city lot. Soil that was so filled with clay that shovel handles would snap when I tried to dig it. Soil that was so messed up during the construction of the homes that, where I could dig, I would encounter pockets of gravel and pieces of old farm fencing. This is not stuff you want to grow your food in. Nor can plants ever get what they need to thrive in these conditions.
To top it off, our yard was also sloped. Add all the good compost you want, but one good rain storm sends it away, flowing downhill to the drain sewer. I’m not sure why I suddenly woke up, but one day I headed to the lumber yard and got the materials for a half dozen, large raised beds. I built them all in one afternoon and that was turning point for my garden. You can read more about it here including what it’s like to be the only person on your street growing edibles in the front yard.
The Raised Bed Revolution Continues
We no longer live at that home but my appreciation for raised beds continues. We unknowingly gave up hard clay soil in exchange for an extremely sandy lot, so the symptoms are different but the problems are the same. Now I use raised beds for year-round vegetable gardening and a clever way to add privacy to the side of our yard.
Raised Bed Revolution by Tara Nolan is packed with ideas for raised bed gardening, taking far beyond the plain box made from wood. Raised beds are essentially garden containers with endless possibilities. Tara provides everything you need to know for choosing materials, soil, and locations. There is also info on irrigation systems for raised beds, plus full instructions for over 20 different projects of various sizes and styles. It’s jam-packed with excellent photos, DIY instructions, and ideas. If you are a gardener like me who loves to grow and build, you will find all sorts of things to make. Or, as some of you have told me, all sorts of things to ask your beloved to make for you.
Here’s a few examples from the book.
More traditional raised beds are perfect for larger garden spaces.
If you find bending or kneeling difficult, see if you can create a garden at the height that is comfortable for you. This tall raised bed (above) also offers places to sit or place tools. I would probably use the benches for stashing trays of plants I am propagating, out of reach for the slugs.
This corrugated steel planter on wheels is portable and would look great on a patio or at an entryway.
If you love the repurposed-industrial look, an item like an old suitcase or wooden drawer can be converted into a garden container. I had something like this a few years back and used it to grow salad greens on our patio in the dappled shade.
These are just a few examples of what you’ll find in the book. There’s also a favourite project from my previous garden in the book (page 118). If you get the book, let me know when you see it. 😉