Raised Bed Gardening: Plan Your Vegetables and Herbs in Fall

As the days get chillier, you can still plan for your next year’s production by building new raised beds.

| November 2012

Fall isn’t a time to quit gardening. In fact, it’s the perfect time to plan your raised-bed gardens, according to gardeners Joy Bossi and Karen Bastow, authors of Joy in Your Garden: A Seasonal Guide to Gardening (Cedar Fort, 2012). In this excerpt from the “September, October and November” section of the book, find tips on getting that intensive gardening started, plus learn the benefits of fall gardening. 

Buy this book from the GRIT storeJoy in Your Garden: A Seasonal Guide to Gardening.

Where to Put a Vegetable Garden

If you haven’t had a vegetable garden before, fall is an excellent time to get started—yes, fall! Whenever you do get ready to start a vegetable garden, you will need to decide if you would like a traditional single-row garden or a raised-bed garden. If you get the beds made and the soil prepared (or boxes built if you choose to use a raised-bed gardening method), you’ll find that you are just that much further ahead in the spring when it is time to plant.

As you survey your gardening kingdom, make note of where the sun shines directly on the soil for the most hours during the day. That is the best place for a vegetable/herb garden. The area should also be away from trees because not only do they cast shade for some part of the day, but the tree roots will out-compete the smaller plants for water and nutrients.

Sometimes that most sunny place is right smack dab in the middle of the lawn.

If you choose to have a single-row vegetable garden, now is a good time to prepare the soil. Clear it of any grass or weeds, and rototill or hand dig. At the same time add organic matter until the soil is a good, workable texture. Then, come spring, you can start gardening just as soon as the soil dries and you can use a rake to smooth out the bumps.

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