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What is a Raised Vegetable Garden?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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A raised vegetable garden is a type of raised bed garden. These gardens can be cultivated in practically all kinds of locations, requiring only sufficient sunlight, regular watering and a good drainage to thrive. Raised gardens have the positive benefit of ensuring a supply of fresh, tasty vegetables with a minimum impact to the environment. The raised garden beds can be cultivated in a variety of containers or on natural mounds.

Different gardeners make use of different types of containers for their raised gardens. Some may make use of natural or specially treated wooden crates and boxes. Others may use containers constructed of stones, bricks, concrete blocks and plastic material.

The raised garden soil may be a foot or so higher than the surrounding ground or may be raised completely off the ground. The raised garden bed can be of any height, size or shape that suits the gardener. Generally though, people go for narrow raised garden beds that have a height of three feet (0.915 m) and can be easily reached in the middle from both sides.

As these raised gardens require little bending, they are a convenient choice for senior citizens or handicapped people. It is best to keep the beds short lengthwise so the gardener is not required to walk around too much. A pathway between the raised garden beds is ideal for easy movement.

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Many gardeners prefer to take a layered approach for the raised garden soil. This can be done by putting layers of cardboard and newspaper at the bottom and soaking these with water. Then a layer of hay is spread on top of these and a layer of manure is added on top of the hay. This is then covered with a layer of straw.

The gardener then adds potting mix or compost on top of the straw and the raised bed garden is ready for planting. Another approach is to fill the raised garden bed with a mix of native soil and compost, a mix of native soil and imported soil, a mix of imported soil and compost, or just imported soil.

A variety of vegetables can be planted and cultivated in a raised vegetable garden. Aside from personal preferences, it is advisable to research what vegetables suit a particular season or zone before planting. The gardener should also make note of the amount of sunlight and water the vegetables will require.

Weeding is next to negligible in this type of garden as compared to a regular one. Vegetables too can be planted closer together in a raised bed garden than in a regular garden. This means that a raised vegetable garden can yield a much larger harvest.

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