Raised Garden Beds

The tractor bucket full of food is from my raised garden.

I am installing raised garden beds at the olive farm to grow herbs and vegetables.Raised bed will really extend the growing season as suggested by experts.

Perhaps the most important advantage is greatly reduced soil compaction. Plant roots need air. In an ordinary garden, you can’t avoid stepping in the garden bed occasionally when doing your everyday gardening. A properly designed raised bed garden allows you to do all your gardening from the garden path.

I have used 4x4 redwood posts cut to 24 inches, and 2x12x20 Douglas fir planks, The planks are lag bolted with galvanized 1/4 inch x 3 inch bolts and washers.

I painted the Douglas fir with water soluble and toxic free, elastomeric paint to seal the wood.You will understand my wood choice after you price cedar and redwood,all wood will eventually rot out.The secret is to bolt the planks to the 4x4 for easy replacement in the future.

Dig a hole about 18 inches or so deep, and set the 4x4 posts in.I put a shovel load or two of concrete just for stability.

Four Boxes five feet wide by twenty feet long for a total of one hundred square feet of planting area per box.I have heavy clay soil so I tilled gypsum into the clay,later add a good planting soil.Before the soil, for gopher and ground squirrel control lay chicken wire at the bottom of the plank,double it to reduce the size of the openings.I purchased my soil choice from the local nursery and they delivered about 8 yards for me.

Also,see the irrigation pipe in the corner at the far end of the box, it's 3/4 inch, class 200 PVC.This is the most cost effective and great for the drip system feed line.Upstream from what you see in the photo is a shut off valve at the main line.
I like the varied elevation of the beds and am importing fill dirt in between the boxes.Later I will add gravel so I don't step in any mud.

I will list a few reasons to invest in a raised vegetable garden planting area:

1.eliminate harmful soil compaction by utilizing the path around the bed.

2.Soil conditions and types can be controlled more efficiently in a raised bed and they can be varied easily from bed to bed. Raised beds are the answer when topsoil is thin.

3.A raised garden bed brings the garden to you, making it easier to apply compost,nutrients or just weeding.

4.There is something pleasing to the eye when looking at a raised vegetable garden.

5.Various studies have shown that raised garden beds produce 1.4 to 2 times as much vegetables and flowers per square foot as ordinary beds, due mainly to the above advantages. You can have a smaller and more manageable garden that produces more goodies for your table.

The above picture is the finished raised vegetable garden this garden yielded enough vegetables to probably support two families.

Below is an example of an artichoke we grew in the raised box, we would have not attempted this in a basic garden.

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