August 20, 2010, Newsletter Issue #144: Raised Garden Beds and Crop Rotation

Tip of the Week

Crop rotation only concerns farmers in Iowa or Guatemala, right? You can practice crop rotation though, in your own raised garden. Crop rotation = good organic gardening, and good organic gardening = raised garden bed. Simply put, you can alternate crops between root crops (potato, rhubarb), legumes (green beans) and heavy feeders (all the rest of the veggies). Easy turnover and easy changeover are one of the advantages of raised bed gardening--especially since you can sometimes change the shape of your custom raised garden. In a well defined space, managing plants is easy. Plus, you can build a new raised garden and plant crops in the middle of the season. For crop rotation you need: Detailed plan of what you'll plant and when Weather almanacs Organic gardening compost to refresh the soil Topsoil supply--if the original soil is healthy, you can reuse it Cover crops that are tilled back into the soil (we suggest fava beans without the nice Chianti)

You don't have to move to a cornfield, go to market days in Provence, or carry a basket on you head to have a successful crop rotation--all you need are raised garden beds!

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Byron White