The fall is the best time to design and put up a Raised Row Garden, whether you’re converting an existing garden or starting from scratch.
You will not only be prepared to begin planting next spring, but you will also enjoy fewer weeds, less effort, and greater harvests than ever before in your garden!
The Benefits of Growing Your Vegetables on Raised Beds
Raised-row gardening appears to be on the rise. To put it plainly, it’s the solution for individuals who want a less complicated, less time-consuming, and more fruitful gardening experience.
It simplifies the process of cultivating and harvesting vegetables for backyard farmers by employing a low-cost, organic method. All of this can be done without having to fork over a ton of cash on pricey retaining walls or raised beds, or even renting a rototiller.
An extremely fruitful vegetable garden can be nurtured using mulch, organic materials, and natural cover crops. One that requires even less tending to and work is ideal. In fact, it becomes less of a hassle to upkeep and more fruitful each year.
Find out what it takes to transform your current garden into a Raised Row Garden, or how to get started with a brand new one this season. Below the text is a video that goes into even more detail about how to construct your rows without any hassle. If you want more information, see our post “How to Grow with Raised Rows.”
Reasons why it’s a good time to start your garden now
There are a number of built-in benefits to beginning your Raised Row Garden setup in the fall. Leaves, straws, and other organic materials are readily available and can be used to construct your rows.
You may also use this time to plant a cover crop in your garden without having to till the soil. A method that not only prevents weed seeds from germinating in the soil and helps to recharge its fertility but also helps to keep the soil from washing away.
If you prepare your garden now for planting next spring by mowing it down, you’ll only have to do that once. No need to till the soil, fewer weeds, and less effort are required. That’s so simple!
Why Raised Rows?
Raised-row gardening involves laying out both “walking rows” and “growing rows” of plants. Utilizing this method, you can allocate more resources to the expanding rows and less to the walking rows.
The majority of a garden’s footprint is taken up not by the plants themselves, but by the pathways used to tend to them. The maintenance of such walkways is extremely labor-intensive and costly in conventional garden settings.
It’s like wasting time and effort tilling, pulling weeds, and spreading compost or other organic ingredients in regions where plants won’t grow.
A Raised Row Garden, on the other hand, eliminates the need for upkeep in the walking rows by covering them with mulch. Not only are compost and other essential nutrients not wasted in these situations, but they are not even necessary.
Furthermore, the walking rows, or any other portion of the garden, will never again require tilling. There will be a lot fewer weeds, in the end, using this method as opposed to tilling, and you will save time and energy.
How to Make a Raised Row Garden in the Fall
Let’s look at how to set everything up this fall.
Raised beds are constructed with a width of about 18 inches, with a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 30 inches between each row to facilitate movement. The row’s length should be determined by the dimensions of your garden. At the farm, each row is 20 feet in length.
Straw, leaves, and compost are used to make the growing rows, which are then laid down at a height of 4 to 6 inches. Realizing that you don’t need all three is crucial in this case. Including high-quality organic stuff is crucial.
Afterward, a layer of topsoil, often measuring a few inches thick, is spread over the compost or manure. Near the center of the 18-inch-wide rows, the whole thing flattens out to a height of just about 4 inches to 6 inches. As you construct each row, gradually diminish the width of the edges to prevent a drop-off.
Building a garden from an existing one or starting from scratch
The procedure of constructing the growing rows and walkways is the same whether you are adapting an existing garden or starting from fresh.
Mow the grass down to the ground if you’re beginning from a grassy area. If you want to convert a traditional garden, you may simply lay your rows out on top of the dirt.
The Benefit of a Good Fall Setup
Planting a cover crop of annual (cereal) rye is one major benefit of preparing your rows and garden in the fall. Not only in your growing rows but also in your walking rows for the first set up in the fall!
By doing so, you may prevent weeds from growing anywhere in the area, including in the walking rows. During the next spring, you just need to mow the area a few times before it completely dies.
Now is the time to plant your crop rows and put down a last layer of mulch in your walking rows. The decaying rye underneath acts as a barrier, preventing weeds from ever emerging.
It’ll benefit both you and your garden. To maintain the efficacy of the no-till method in the coming years, you need only sow rye in your growing rows.