Raised beds are a great way to grow a vegetable garden. Their neat appearance fits well into any backyard and even some front yards. The deep and loose soil encourages healthy root growth and allows for closer planting distances, which gives you more production in the same space and helps to shade out weeds. Raised beds warm up more quickly in the spring. And, a raised bed also allows you to more precisely plan and plant your garden. With or without borders, raised beds are an efficient and attractive way to grow vegetables.
Choose the location and size for each bed. They can be any length, but should be no more than 4 feet wide, to enable you to reach the entire bed without stepping on it.
Use the fork or rototiller to thoroughly dig the area of the bed. Get the soil as loose and airy as possible. Make sure you dig down at least 8 inches.
Measure out the perimeters of your bed and mark those borders with pegs and string.
Decide what amendments you want to add to your bed, then use the shovel to evenly distribute them over the surface. Use the fork to thoroughly mix them into the soil beneath.
Use the rake and shovel to clean up the perimeter of your bed, leaving a tidy and contained border area. Move all extra loosened soil back into the bed. Leave the pegs and string in place, if desired, or lay border material to contain the edges of the bed.
Add a 1/2 inch top layer of compost, if desired. Smooth the top of the bed with your rake. You are ready to plant in the bed.