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There are four advantages of raised garden beds to the gardener: loose soil, increased water drainage, increased accessibility, and increased density of planting.

Raised garden beds allow soil to stay loose because the gardener does not walk inside the garden bed; loose soil allows for better growth of root systems, which in turn allows for more water and nutrients to the plant. More water and nutrients means increased growth and productivety. Loose soil also allows for easier weeding and amending of soil.

As with house plants, too much water is a common problem for vegetable plants. In conventional gardens, a heavy rain means the plant roots remain saturated for long periods of time. Too much water retards plant growth, if not altogether drowns a plant. Because the raised garden beds are raised, plants get the water they need when watered, yet allow the water to drain through the box into the earth below.

The elevation of the box also means convenience and accessiblity to the gardener. The boxes can be built in any length but, in most cases, are built three-feet wide, allowing for the gardener to plant, weed, and amend the soil with less effort and more comfort. The net result: gardening becomes fun!

Because conventional gardens require space for gardeners to walk, produce is usually planted in rows; this means that the majority of space in a conventional garden is for the gardener to walk, not for plants. Not so with raised garden beds. The whole bed is for planting, thereby increasing the use of space for plants dramatically. A rule of thumb is that one square foot of raised garden beds equals four square feet of a conventional garden. Bottom line: much produce from a small area.

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Raised garden beds can be designed and installed in any arrangement, so long as they're about three-feet wide. The first photo shows garden beds built in a terraced design; the second in a U-shape so as to complement the home and patio design

raised garden bed

  Our raised garden beds are milled locally from rough-cut Western Red Cedar, which is a ideal for raised garden beds because of its water-resistance, which means a longer life. It is also free of chemicals, unlike other water-resistant products such as green-treated lumber. The planks for the box frames are one inch thick, and twelve inches deep. We reinforce the boxes with half-inch re-bar, which is pounded into the ground roughly every four feet. The length of the boxes varies, but most beds are either ten, twelve, or fourteen feet long. We fill each box with compost, which is rich in nutriants, able to hold mosture, and granular enough that it drains well.
It is critical that the material out of which the beds are built is chemical-free. Green-treated lumber comes saturated with copper; plastic products are made of petrolium-based chemicals. Both have properties that can leach into the soils and plants in your beds