I am altering my style of gardening.
Last fall, cleaning out the garden beds, I finally admitted to myself that working on my hands and knees didn’t give the stimulating pleasure that it had. Who am I kidding? It never did. This spring, I began to do something about it by adding several raised cedar beds. At about thirty-some-odd inches tall, no bending or kneeling is required. And kneeling truly is the issue.
The photo is from the spring of the first unit I put together and planted with various herbs. Weeding, cultivating, and harvesting are easy, and I believe that just on that score, I have received a full measure of return on investment already.
I’ve since added two more units and started my late-season sugar peas and spinach in them. With the success of the initial units, I’ve begun to think about what to do with the large main vegetable beds or weed havens. I don’t believe there will be enough soil in the units I’ve bought for crops like squash, pumpkin, or tomatoes. So I’ve been online researching larger metal raised beds of about thirty-two inches in height and between two to three feet wide. Once again, I am thinking about ease of weeding and cultivation.
Beyond no kneeling, however, are concerns with water conservation. I’ve spent years developing the garden soil and should reasonably expect to reuse the soil within the raised beds. I’ve worked diligently on composting, amending the soil for fertility and ability to retain moisture. During dry years, I do not have to water excessively. Watering specific containers and raised beds is more economical than broadcast hose watering. With the new raised beds, I expect to improve water conservation further.
Do I hear sniggers from the non-gardeners? Save your titters, boffolas, chortles, cackles, and belly laughs for when produce prices at the store continue to rise higher and higher.
There is little as lovely as freshly picked snow peas from the garden. And the price is right.