Raised Bed Garden Design

The warm weather of late has me itching to start planting my vegetable garden. Because it's Wisconsin, some things will have to wait until mid-May when the risk of frost is minimal. But the cool weather stuff can go in this week.

I am a big vegetable garden planner. I like to carefully think about what I want to plant, and try to do it strategically. I kind of have to garden this way, because I don't have a very green thumb. You know, my nickname isn't CACTUS JOE for nothing...

What are your vegetable garden plans?

I am lucky to have a raised bed vegetable garden, the perfect vegetable garden design. It was here when I moved in. Literally plug and play! Raised beds make gardening a lot less work for an amateur like me, and I really have to appreciate it.

Raised bed gardens have a lot of advantages over conventional ground-level garden plots. The most obvious (to me) is drainage. The Law of Gravity prevents raised bed garden plots from getting over-saturated with moisture. The second big advantage is less competition with encroaching vegetation. The raised bed allows the plants roots to go deeper vertically and not compete horizontally as much with neighboring plants.

Raised beds also make weeding easier. The weeds can't spread far and it is less effort to spot them and remove them from a raised bed garden. In short, a raised bed garden design gives you greater productivity from a smaller area.

There are subtle advantages too. Animals are less inclined to climb up into a raised bed garden, especially if it is protected by wire mesh.

It's important to plot your vegetable garden layout. I can't wait to design my garden this week. I just wish I had the help and advice of a gardening expert like urban vegetable grower Ray Nones (author of a great book about raised bed vegetable gardening).

I think I am going to devote an entire one of my three raised beds to cool weather spinach and lettuce. Then when that goes to seed, I will do some fast growing summer stuff in there, like squash. Well, I had better get on with my vegetable garden planning.

If anyone who is a good vegetable garden planner reads this who lives not far from Cambridge, WI, and would like to help me, please E-MAIL ME as soon as you can, or leave a comment below. I know that's a long shot. Even if you don't live near me, but have some advice or tips, I would love to hear them. I will even share them here with my readers and link back to you.

Tune in next time (subscribe?) when I will talk about HERB GARDEN DESIGN and also ORGANIC CONTAINER GARDENING. (I bolded those phrases so that I can add hyperlinks when the blog posts are ready. You can bookmark this page and check back periodically, but subscribing is easier...)

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