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Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It ... Garden Anywhere! Hardcover – May 1, 2016
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From the Publisher
Introduction: What is the Raised Bed Revolution?
When you hear the word revolution, what comes to mind? You probably think of the more common definition, which is "rebellion" or "uprising", right? But revolution also means "innovation" and "modernization". For the purpose of this discussion—and for this whole book for that matter—let’s focus on those last two words.
The emphasis on eating fresh, local food over the past few years has really changed the landscape of our towns and cities. Not only are farmers’ markets more popular than ever before, more and more people are deciding to put their green thumbs to the test and grow their own food at home.
This is where innovation and modernization come into play. Raised beds aren’t a new invention, but they have certainly become more prevalent with this movement to grow fresh produce. And they’ve helped to modernize the way we garden. In bigger yards, raised beds seem to have replaced the typical expanse of a veggie plot. What’s more, gardeners have gotten creative over the years and are experimenting with different options. This burst of innovation means a raised bed may not be a typical rectangle shape built from timber.
In fact, raised beds can be made in all shapes and styles rectangles, squares, triangles, and circles; ankle- and waist-height; wooden and stone construction. They can even be welded out of steel, aging to a nice rust-colored patina over time, or made out of corrugated sheets of steel inset in a wood frame. Creative DIYers are rescuing materials from scrap heaps, antique markets, behind sheds, and underneath decks to upcycle into raised beds.
Commonly found items, such as washbasins, stock tanks, and recycling bins, are getting a new lease on life as ready-made gardens.
As the types of beds have changed, so have their locations. Raised beds are no longer just confined to the backyard. They’re appearing on front and side lawns of residential streets,
Chapter 1: Gallery of Raised Beds
This kitchen garden at Beechwood Gardens in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers multiple points of inspiration, from the orderly raised beds made of stone to the obelisks and potscaping.
This chicken coop gives new meaning to the idea of “rooftop gardening.”
A handmade dibber (a pointed tool used to make holes in the soil for planting seeds) sits on display in Karen Bertelsen’s community plot. Bertelsen, who writes the highly entertaining blog The Art of Doing Stuff, uses this dibber to create evenly spaced holes for planting in her raised beds.
The height of a raised bed can make all the difference to a gardener who is not able to bend or kneel in a traditional garden.
A Note To New Gardeners Who Have Installed Their First Raised Bed
If your shiny new raised bed is your first foray into gardening, fear not. There are ample online resources that can help a newbie gardener figure out what to plant—or troubleshoot any problems that may arise throughout the growing season.
To help you figure out what seeds to sow or which seedlings to buy at the garden center, think about the items that regularly make it onto your grocery list. Fresh herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. And they can cost big bucks for a small bunch in the produce aisle. If you love tomatoes, then pick three to five plants that include a nice large slicing tomato and a snack-worthy cherry variety.
Peas, beans, and cucumbers are also relatively easy to grow and yield a sizable harvest; just be sure to give them something to climb.
Even the most experienced gardeners learn through trial and error, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes! There’s always next year.
Plant the things that most often find themselves in your shopping cart. Les Urbainculteurs / Smart Pots.
-Garden Book of the Month, August 2016
About the Author
Tara Nolan is a freelance writer from the Toronto, Canada, area. Working as an editor and digital consultant, her publishing background is diverse. She's worked everywhere from Yahoo! Canada to Canadian Home Workshop. For over six years, Tara was the web editor of CanadianGardening.com where she won a Canadian Online Publishing Award for the Seed to Supper newsletter. She is a member of the Garden Writers Association and a co-founder of Savvy Gardening. She loves to write about travel, gardening, decor, and health and fitness for print and online publications. If she's not writing, you'll find Tara in the garden, mountain biking, or handcrafting a new project.
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