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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Planting Guide and Constructing Raised Beds

Q. My husband and I appreciate your input in guiding us to our next planting season. I know it might be a little too late but I am open for ideas to continue our gardening on a raised bed. This summer we had a great time growing Kale, red and green chard and jalapeno peppers and basil.
 Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

A. I will give you my version of raised beds, the kind we built at the University Orchard for growing vegetable crops. I wrote some instructions for building these types of raised beds for Viragrow, Inc. as a consultant. I attached to these instructions so that you could follow them.
Raised bed made without sidewalls

The first part tells you what to plant in the fall and winter months and whether you can start them from seed (s) or transplants (T). The second part tells you how to construct raised beds without building sidewalls but just using the natural slope of the soil to retain their raised shape. 

Raised bed made from wood
Some people like to build sidewalls from wood, brick or cement block to surround these raised beds. This is entirely up to you. But once you have constructed raised beds you should not be walking in them unless you are preparing the soil. 

Raised beds should be wide enough so that you can access the entire bad by using either side. Walkways are 18 to 24 inches wide between them and this is where traffic should be kept. Walking on these beds transfers weed seeds, diseases and compacts the soil making the soil more difficult to grow vegetables. I hope this helps.

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