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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Planning Raised Beds

Jessica Walliser
Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Raised bed
Photo by Jessica Walliser
My son helped me plant onions in my mother's raised beds last year.

I’m lucky enough to be headed east to the Philadelphia Flower Show later today. I’ll be spending the entire day tomorrow walking around, checking out acres of beautiful flowers and gardens with two of my very best friends. I can’t wait!

I grew up only an 1½ hours north of the Philadelphia Convention Center but never managed to make the trip. Then when I moved to Pittsburgh in my early 20s, it was never a good time to go to the flower show. And so finally, now is a good time. I’ll take plenty of pictures and fill you in on all the goodies I find. 

When I return (hopefully inspired!) it will be time to get started on building my new raised beds. This past fall, I bought cedar planks and all the corner joints and screws I need to make two new raised beds. The plan is to place one on each side of the backside of the garden fence. Each raised bed will be 2 feet deep and 6 feet long. I plan to fill the beds with plenty of composted leaves from our compost bins and well-rotted horse manure from the neighbor. Should be good stuff.

Right now, the asparagus in the garden isn’t doing so hot in its current location. I’m going to plant both of the new raised beds with new asparagus crowns, and with any luck, I’ll have a beautifully productive patch in a few short years.

I also have one more raised bed to build, but this one comes as a kit. It’s supposed to be very easy to put together, but that’s never a guarantee for me. Kind of like the Ikea furniture that you aren’t supposed to need power tools to construct, inevitably there is either a piece missing or the power drill needs to be charged in order to finish putting it together. I can’t quite decide where I’d like to put this particular raised bed, but I’m thinking I’d like to plant it with corn, so it will need to be somewhere in full sun. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Reader Comments
I enjoy the raised beds. We garden almost an acre. We do the typical gardening for the large scale crops, like corn and purple hull peas. We plant our tomatoes, squash, peppers, etc in raised beds. The big feature for me is the organization it provides, and the look. We're big on appearance. I like a neat garden. Also makes it easier to spot the snakes..Ha.........Yes we have our share, both the good ones and the nasties...Raised besd are also best fro us againg gardeners
Robert, Ellisville, MS
Posted: 5/12/2011 1:46:18 PM
Flower shows are always a good thing to get spring time juices flowing. We have a flower show in my town as well but the expense to go is quite prohibitive for me. I usually just go to a couple of the big nurseries here in town and enjoy the new spring flower displays. We also have a huge 100 acre botanical garden center that has many special areas to sit and enjoy the seasonal flower blooms. The cost is only $20 a year. They have great displays indoors all year round. All the plants are grown in their five huge green houses.

Have a great flower show day.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 3/20/2011 6:48:43 AM
Enjoy the show! It's supposed to be beautiful.
Missy, Altoona, PA
Posted: 3/13/2011 10:58:09 AM
trying raised beds for the first time this spring! Good luck to us both!!!
Andy, can't wait for spring, IA
Posted: 3/13/2011 8:08:09 AM
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