Friday, May 8, 2009

Raised Bed Garden Mounds

Raised Bed Garden Mounds

Raised beds are one of the best ways to garden for the home gardener. They allow you to do concentrated gardening, square foot gardening, companion planting, mulching, etc... They're easy to build and relatively cheap. But if you're looking for the cheapest and easiest way to do raised beds and you have the room for it, then raised bed mounds are the way to go.

Raised bed garden mounds have all the same benefits of framed beds, but with now cost for materials. You simply create raised beds without the box. Now because there's no frame, it's suggested that you keep them no wider than 3ft across, but as for length, there is no limit.

Here's how to build, first roto-till the ground.

Then I usually set up some stakes with a string line to keep the beds straight or in this photo we just used the fence as a marker. Once marked, just shovel the dirt to center.

Try to form a bed about 3ft wide with a 2ft path between beds. Then just level the top off, the sloping sides are good because they give more surface area to warm the soil (which helps in colder climates) and the experts say that they mimic the natural environment in drainage.

For the walking paths you can lay down old newspapers and cover with straw as seen here. this helps keep the weeds down in the paths and also helps with water retention. Other things you can use are wood chips, I've seen people use old rugs or tarps, pine needles, I even know of person who uses old conveyor belts that they use at gravel pits (he gets them for free when they wear out).

Here's a few raised garden bed mounds all done and laid out.

Another thing you can do is lay down a breathable black plastic over the mound and just cut holes in it where you plant. Now weeds and water retention is great.

Here's some raised garden bed mounds early in the season with all kinds of growth.

Here's what they look like in late in the season with all kinds of veggies.

Time to go put in a few more plants in.

Happy gardening,



Mrs Green said...

What a fascinating idea! My first thought was doesn't the bed just kind of collapse at the side, especially in torrential rainfall, but, from the look of your photos that is not the case. I love the ideas of the paths made from newspapers and straw and will consider utilising that in my garden next year. We have clay which is a challenge becuase you definately cannot walk on it due to soil compaction.

Thanks for a thought provoking read

Mrs Green

Farmer Dave said...

Good work - looks great.