Raised Beds

The soil warms faster, I plant earlier, have better drainage, fewer weeds, and a more abundant harvest with more perfectly shaped root crops. If I'd only known, I would have done it sooner.

A raised bed is simply a plot

DESIGNING A VEGETABL E G A K IJ E N

Growing Stand Vegetables

liaised beds, like these above, allow J or better drainage and easier weeding. Designed with curved edges, they can be decorative and especially attractive.

raised above round level. You can mound soil eight to ten inches high in rows 1 to 1 Vz feet wide, level the top, and plant, or build it 1 to 1 Vi feet higher and wider, using a retaining wall around the perimeter. Some popular materials used to build the retaining walls are railroad ties and logs. The bed can be from 1 foot to 3 feet high, depending on whether you want to sit, kneel, or stand when working. A 3-foot-high raised bed allows handicapped people confined to wheelchairs easy access to work in their garden and can bring them many hours of pleasure and a feeling of accomplishment.

When building a retaining wall, keep in mind that the bin

(growing area) should be no wider than twice the distance you can reach. That way, you can work the bed from either side without having to stand on and compress the soil. A raised-bed garden can consist of a single bed, a series of beds or a mix of different, geometrically shaped beds, arranged to fit neatly into your growing area. Triangles, squares, and even circles can Ik* used very effectively. And. designed with various levels. and planted with cascading plants to spill over the edges and down the sides, a raised bed can be an dramatic addition to a terrace or yard, adding dimension. interest, and beauty— as well as ease ol access—to your vegetable gardening.

CONTAINER GARDENING

One of the fastest growing hobbies for the gardener is container gardening. If you're an apartment- or city-dweller with a small yard, terrace, or balcony, you can have a wonderful vegetable garden. Just grow your tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers or eggplant in large pots or tubs. As long as the plants receive 6 to 8 hours of sun daily, they will do well, perhaps even better than if they had been planted in a garden, because they'll have the advantage of perfect soil. The dividends of container gardening include better protection from cold weather and frost, and a source of early maturing vegetables at a time when prices are still quite high at the market.

Sometimes, after planting your vegetables in the garden, you find you need just a bit more room for the leftovers. Like a child at supper, your eyes were bigger than your stomach, and you discover you can't fit one more tomato plant or that extra celery plant into the garden. The solution is to grow the extra vegetables in a container. Set them on the patio, the front steps, the front porch to greet your visitors or even beside the garden. Vegetables that need support or trellises can be grown in containers, too; anchor the planting stakes in the pot or place the pot next to a wall with a trellis, netting, or lattice attached. Peas and beans are lovely, and good candidates for growing against a house or garage. Of course, there's no reason why they have to grow up. They look splendid growing down out of a large container and trailing onto a terrace or porch. Herbs, of course, are wonder ful candidates for containers. II growing in containeis is new to you, start simply. Don't take on so many containers that the pleasure becomes work. You can expand your efforts later when container gardening becomes a labor of love, as it surely will.

Consider, for tin- liist year, growing 'Pixie Hybnd II . Burpee's prolific, small tomato that is quick to mature. Plant some basil around tin* tomato seedling, and at harvest time you can pick and use them together for everything from tomato sauce to salad. The next year, if you are feeling more ambitious, glow an entire salad gaideu. planting for spring, summer, and fall production. But walk before you run. We want you to enjoy all of your gardening.

liaised beds, like these above, allow J or better drainage and easier weeding. Designed with curved edges, they can be decorative and especially attractive.

1 wide range of <egelables can be -aised in containers. Pictured here: tomatoes in a hanging basket, beans, parsley, Swiss '•hard, leeks, and aurple basil.

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