October 20, 2009

Comparing Raised Beds

More pictures of the front garden. The board beds were made in 2000, the pole beds in 2002 and the log beds in 2006. The problem with raised beds is that they need to be refilled each year due to snow pack, decay and plant consumption. If they are deep and not refilled, young plants struggle to get enough light. The log beds need to be filled each year as well, but young plants do better earlier and there is a great place to sit and work on the bed. The board beds are decaying and the nails aren't holding. On the pole beds my husband, yes he does all the work around here, used screws and a battery screwdriver, they are holding better and went up quicker and individual boards can be replaced as necessary. He joined the poles together with metal strapping and screws. Very fast installation, very inexpensive since we used down trees. Don't use cedar trees or birch, cedar isn't good for plants and birch rots toooo fast.


  1. thanks for the pictures, I love how wild and natural your gardens are! I am trying to get out to me garden to 'put it away' for the winter, without tilling. I have semi raised beds-no constructed edges -just mounded edges-my plan was to pull out the big plant material and weeds by hand, add a layer of grass/leaf clippings and/or bunny bedding, turn slightly into soil with a fork-I also have some card board I wanted to laydown into the walkways for weed suppression. I this reasonable-or do you wait for spring to put the good stuff in?? I have no idea :)
    Thanks Ruth!

  2. Love the beds, and it looks like you are lucky to get enough sun in that area for veggies - or did you have to remove trees? Is it warm enough for a cover crop to go in the beds to prevent the soil erosion and breakdown?

  3. I really like the way your pole beds look. Our garden areas are very similar. We don't have any permanent raised beds but the trees and deer fencing are very familiar. I think if I build any permanently raised beds that I will keep the pole and log style in mind.

  4. can you post some more photos of your house farm, animals and land???

  5. Kris, you are doing everything perfect, the cardboard the organic matter, the body numbing hard work, yep you got it right!

    Erin - no we didn't need to cut trees, but I don't get the sunlight like i should, this winter we will cut down some orchard overgrowth and that fence you see with the hops, it just blocks too much sun - i am interested in a cover crop, tried mustard last year, it is mostly in mustard and pigsweed now - what would you suggest oh master gardener you!?

    Thanks for the visit Mr. H., hope you got your truck working quickly and painlessly. Your fawna certainly does look like mine, however you produce much more food than i do here, my raised beds may be limiting in some way.

    Hi John, special for you, new pictures today, peace