Hello, readers! Handyman here again. This week I was going to write about whether to prune or not to prune your vegetable plants. However, I was doing something in my garden this week that changed my mind. So instead, I’m going to write again about how great raised garden beds are. This time from a different perspective.
Why, Handyman, Why?
Before I get into that though, let me tell you a little backstory about what I’ve been up to…
Every year I want to expand my garden by three 50′ garden boxes. To eventually reach a max of 15 raised garden beds in the half acre plot that I’m using for my garden space. After building the first three raised garden boxes, I’m filling them in with 15 yd.³ of dirt – each by hand – I realize that it would be a lot of work to build more. Especially if I might not have the ability to utilize all of that space. After giving it some thought, it came to me that I should expand my garden this year. On the ground. To ensure I could handle the extra garden space next year when I build three more 50′ raised garden beds.
This is where things get interesting. My garden space, outside of my raised beds, is wildly overgrown with grass. It’s like a jungle out there! My plan was to use my little rototiller to create my rows where I wanted them. Of course, things never go as planned around here. One quarter of the way through the first row my rototiller died on me. It wasn’t working great in the first place, so I figured I would look for a new (at least new to me) rototiller. I didn’t have a lot of time left though, so while I looked I would plow the roads by hand with my favorite tool. The pickax. It was quite a bit of work, but I was able to get two rows plowed up by hand.
I thought, after I was done plowing the roads by hand, that the hard work was over. Boy, was I wrong! I’ve definitely been spoiled by my beautiful raised garden beds. After I was done plowing I had to go through the rows and pick out all of the grass roots and rocks. Definitely do not want them to get in the way of my vegetables. That was a lot of time on my hands and knees!
More Hard Work When Not Using Raised Garden Beds
Finally, after all that prep work was complete, for sure all of the hard work – all that back and knee aching work was over… Wrong again! In this area that I just cultivated I planted about 2000 seeds. I easily planted more than that in my three 50′ raised beds. Not even halfway through planting the seeds in the ground, my knees and back were aching bad. And I was exhausted!
Every time I would stop to catch my breath, or go inside to rest my back, it was so hard to start again. I knew the planting in raised beds was easier, but I’d forgotten how tedious and time-consuming planting at ground level was.
In the end, if the grass roots and weeds, that I couldn’t get up, don’t choke out my seedlings, it will be a good harvest. I’ll look back at all the work. At all the aches and pains. And I will know it was worth it. I’ll tell you what though, I’ll be excited next year (and appreciate them more) when my next three raised garden beds are built.
Use Raised Garden Beds!
Are you tired of spending your time in the dirt, breaking your back and bruising your knees for your garden? I implore each of you to build raised garden beds, they are such a blessing! Even if you don’t use my design, find one you like and make it happen. You won’t be disappointed.
Next week for sure I’ll be writing about whether to prune, or not to prune, your vegetable plants.
Until next time… Handyman is on the job!