I’ve created a few raised beds this year to see if they improve conditions and yield of my produce. Once they are created, they don’t take much effort to maintain. But creating them can be back breaking at first. Some people choose to create raised beds that are walled in by bricks, cinder blocks, or wood. Creating those walls are up to you and isn’t very difficult, especially with bricks or cinder blocks. Many companies sell corner pieces to connect the wood for your raised beds so that you won’t need to screw or nail any of the pieces together.
My raised beds, being much larger than those that could be created using bricks and cinder blocks are wall-less. They are simply raised rows in the garden. Check the video on youtube if you would like to see them. (My youtube channel) These first beds were started by rototilling the soil. I then put down a hefty amount of leaves which I covered with large paper bags that once held the leaves. To keep the bags in place, I threw soil on top of these bags. I left them sit like that for a few months before I spread the rest of the soil on top.
In retrospect, I think I would have done that when I laid down the leaves and paper. In any case, the beds are now light and airy. Over the summer, the leaves and paper will degrade, leaving behind lots of nutrients, which the growing plants will absorb. At the end of the season, compost, manure, leaves, and newspaper can be put down on these beds and left for the winter. This is a great way to create awesome soil that feeds your plants organically. Because I won’t have to till these beds again, I am also going to be created a wonderful environment for mycelium and earth worms. The layers of compost, leaves, manure, and paper also prevent weeds from growing in the beds, which can save hours of labor in the heat of the summer.