Our first attempt at growing veg directly in the soil of our new home was not as successful as we would have liked. On the other hand, let me just say right up front, I wish we could make our entire smallholding raised beds. They work that much better. It has been quite a journey, but we have refined the ideas each season, each year, and so far, it just works better and better. Its not just about putting the soil in a box and then planting though. Just like planting in a pot and expecting something to grow happily, preparing a raised bed is about adding the right stuff – but not as difficult as one may think. As mentioned before, our objectives with our farming was to try use natural, organically grown as far as possible. Where organically grown is not possible, material should be something that will not cause damage to the environment. Salvageable, recyclable is also important.
The following principles are explored in this series on raised beds. As they are quite common principles, I will not exhaust the explanation, rather outline our interpretation and application: