To Raise a Bed or Not

My husband and I moved to this Kansas acreage in 2000 and immediately started to argue about vegetable gardening. 

He said, “All you have to do is throw some seeds on the ground and stand back.”

I said, “You need raised beds, amended soil, daily weeding, and a watering schedule.”  And maybe some other bits, but I’ve forgotten what my friend the master gardener told me.

Since I work full time, I devoted my leisure hours to developing perennial beds around the house. My husband had ten years of rotted seed in a garden plot consisting mainly of Kansas clay.  So the argument continued.  To raise a bed or not, that was the question – with apologies to Will.

Two years ago, I was walking through one of the warehouse stores and saw a small raised bed kit.  I pointed to it.  My husband knows me well enough that he simply picked it up and put it in the cart.  For about $50 and a little labor – his – we had a raised bed.  We also had a competition.

He planted potatoes, carrots, and corn.

I planted cucumbers, lettuce, and basil. 

His rotted in the spring rains.  I was harvesting cucumbers in November.  The answer to the question?  Raised beds!   

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6 thoughts on “To Raise a Bed or Not

    • I grew up on the east coast, although not as far north as you are. I remember rocky soil – couldn’t put a shovel in the dirt without digging up rocks! Looking forward to seeing you on your Blog.

  1. You can garden perfectly well in the dirt, but you do need drainage, and it sounds like hubbie’s garden plot doesn’t have it. If you want to help him out with his project, nudge him toward digging drainage trenches so his seed and plants don’t rot.

    That said, I love my raised beds now that I have them all (nearly 1000 sq ft worth) and I’m sticking with them.

    • Thanks so much for the tip! You’re right. Despite the fact that we’ve created raised beds – more on that to come – I want to use the space he carved out for himself. Drainage trenches sound very doable to me and at least he’ll be able to grow his favorites!

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