IF THE IDEA of growing a year’s supply of healthy, organic vegetables and herbs appeals to you, but the thought of digging through compacted, rocky soil does not, consider growing your crops as I do: in raised beds.
You can build a raised bed from almost any material you like, as long as it is sturdy and does not contain harmful chemicals. For my kitchen garden, I built eight 4-by-8 foot beds from inexpensive, rough-hewn hemlock. Before filling a frame with soil, it is imperative to line the bottom of the bed with either corrugated cardboard or several thicknesses of newspaper. To insure ongoing fertility from year to year, and to avoid the need to purchase additional soil to refill the beds as settling occurs, I top my beds off each fall with shredded leaves. If you suffer from a bad back, you will appreciate being able to plant and harvest your vegetables without bending deeply. Because plants can be grown very close to each other in a raised bed, even a tiny yard can support a lavish edible garden.
A raised bed vegetable garden has less weeding, less bending, and absolutely no tilling—there are really no negatives to this type of gardening.
Thanks Kevin, actually I’m doing round beds and using wagon wheels laid on top to separate the veggies from each other.
I have a question about your comment in paragraph 6 concerning lining the beds with newspapers. Also, I read your comment about refilling your beds with leaves and how the leaves help with water retention. Kevin, Can’t you use grass clippings over the garden in the fall, if you don’t have leaves?
Anne Shea – Yes, grass clippings (from a lawn which was not treated with chemicals) are great to add to beds in fall, or to keep weeds down during summer. I’ve used raised beds for years, in my home garden, in my Boston community garden, and now in my Vermont garden. When I moved from Washington State to South Florida, I invested in a bunch of GrowBoxes to grow my crops in. Noelle – Back in 2008, I purchased something called the Flowtron Ultimate Leaf Shredder. Kevin, I’m new to your site and loving your info on gardening and the healthy recipes!
Since bending is hard on my back, I was wondering how building a raised garden on an old wooden picnic table would work out.
My only advice is this: Be sure to staple landscaping fabric to the bottom of the raised bed before hoisting it onto the table and filling it with soil. PS Is there another area on your site that gives step by step instructions for the raised beds or is the narrative with the pictures the instructions? Bea – Yes, you can dig shredded leaves into your beds to make the soil more water-retentive. My horticulturist friend warned me against using grass clippings and dead leaves in my beds without composting them first, because they rob the soil of nitrogen as they decay. Along that note, you’ve mentioned that you can plant plants closer together in raised beds. Kay – While un-composted wood chips will rob the soil of nitrogen, grass clippings, I feel, should not be a concern. I place shredded leaves in my garden beds every autumn, and have seen only positive results from the practice. As for plant-spacing in a raised bed, my policy is to plant closely enough so that the foliage will completely shade the soil. The last place we lived we had raised beds with old metal roofing sheets held up with wooden stakes. What can I say except that I really appreciate your site, even though I live in Qld., Australia, your tips are still very helpful.
Raised beds are great – I have three and they are very easy to maintain and get very few weeds. Use the power of grid based designs to create a structured and professional page layout in InDesign, which can then be populated with a range of information to produce a polished CV or Resume. I was recently invited to participate in the Steven Stevenson challenge over at Smashing Magazine.
Let’s go back through the process of creating the document, and see how the initial grid layout was produced.
Being a design aimed more towards print, and one that concentrates on the fine grid details, we’ll use Adobe InDesign as the application of choice.
Use the Rectangle Frame Tool to draw a box in the top right corner, with the option to Snap to Grid active the shape should fit exactly to the gridlines. With the title being large in size, any slight inaccuracies will be much more visible, spend a few moments to kern the letters. Repeat the process with the second line of text, but this time make the type smaller in size. Edit the text by setting in the appropriate font, set the size to 10pt and leading to 13pt to match the baseline grid.
Change the colour of the text to white and align it to the center of the rectangles, as opposed to the baseline itself. Select the bunch of list items and go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Apply Bullets. With the list still selected, go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Convert Bullets to Text. We can now go through and select each bullet point, and change the text colour to Cyan, adding a little visual tweak to the page design. When viewed without the guides the design holds itself together well with neatly aligned content and a clean, structured appearance. Access All Areas members gain instant access to 100s of premium design resources & source files. Unless you are applying to agencies and know in advance that they will accept PDFs and use a color printer to print out your resume, this wouldn’t work, however great-looking it is. I also recommend having a basic, Microsoft Word version of your resume for less tech-savvy companies who might not have that latest, up-to-date version of Acrobat Reader.
Been using grids in Illustrator for some time now and makes life a bit easier when you get to grips with it. Nice write-up, though I do wonder why you chose to redefine everything individually, rather than just setting paragraph styles for everything. For example, I’d think that creating a ‘List’ style where you define the form, size, shape, and colour of the bullet to use and simply apply that style to all the list items you have on the page would be much easier than manually selecting and changing the colour of each bullet—no?
Or were you perhaps just trying to avoid making a simple tutorial too long by working around the Paragraph Styles palette? I know a lot of time and effort goes into producing any tut, which is why I feel bad for mentioning anything negative. I think a better layout and hierarchy would go a long way toward making this an even better CV.
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Slightly-raised flower beds give a more effective display of the plants and, if cut out of grass, provide a decent clean sharp edge. Turn the soil slightly forward each time, gradually increasing the width and depth of the trench. Depending on the time of year, the flower bed design can be left rough to break down of its own accord or, if required for immediate use, the soil can be broken up and trodden thoroughly.
After these have been planted it will be found that it is no longer possible to stagger the plants; that is putting one plant opposite each gap formed between the plants in the row in front.
One of the most indispensible tools in the garden is a 6 ft lathe marked off in feet and sub-divided into six inches, with six separate inches marked at one end. When initially making a new square or rectangular bed then the sides and the corners must be exact right angles and here a little mathematical formula comes in handy.


Starting off from the base A and putting in a peg, measure along 3 ft and put in another peg. With this little formula you can true up or make any rectangular flower bed design by using your lathe and a piece of string or a garden line.
Guessing how to draw out an oval bed is not easy, but here again with three pegs and a piece of string you can easily make a bed to the desired shape and size.
You’d be amazed at how many benefits there are to gardening “on higher ground,” and how easily beds can be constructed.
Do not use pressure-treated lumber (including railroad ties) because it contains toxins that can leach into the soil. Hemlock, like cedar, oak and redwood (these last two are pricey) is naturally rot-resistant.
This material will smother any weeds or grass that would otherwise grow up through the raised bed and impede your perfect planting plan. I always plant zinnias in the long central beds of my kitchen garden; they attract the bees and butterflies necessary for pollinating my crops. As the leaves decompose over winter, they add vital nutrients to the soil, and improve its water-retention.
The four 6-by-4 foot beds in my small herb garden, pictured above, produce copious quantities of parsley, thyme, and other aromatics.
Maybe plant low-light-tolerant lettuces and other greens on the shadier side of your proposed site?
We used 2 inch cedar from a local mill, and even though it was a lot of work and cost a bit, it has been soooo worth it. One question: what would you recommend to deter deer, Marc lives in the country where the critters are abundant. Roots of plants will have no trouble penetrating the newspaper at the bottom of the bed (should they extend that far). I am adding to the number of milk jugs I need to collect for winter sowing to include flowers for the vegetable garden next year. I used to put grass clippings in the valley between my raised rows (I had wonderful soil in VA) and once it dried out would spread it around the plants. We don’t seem to have to water to often ( straw was placed on top for mulch) and if I do I use the water barrel close to the eavestrough. Nothing grows well in the summer down here so my planting season is over except for beans and malabar spinach. Again I’m a novice gardener, have just found your sight and need all the help I can get. The leaves replenish the soil, and definitely reduce the number of weeds which emerge in spring. Anyway, wanted them for fall, but hubby assembled them and now I want to plant something for summer.
Do you find the need to rotate or does just adding new organic material take care of the problem?
Thanks for keeping it simple and inspiring me to get out there and create a gorgeous garden of raised beds! If you look at pictures of my veggie and herb gardens, you’ll notice that each year I plant my crops in different beds.
I mulched the leaves and put them on the beds over the winter, but she encouraged me to remove any that had not broken down. In fact, grass clippings left on a lawn after mowing will fertilize the lawn, and help it to stay green.
A commercial greenhouse I know grows lettuce in pure leaf-mulch which is not completely composted. Concerning depth of raised bed — most veggies are happy to grow in 8-12 inches of soil.
While that part is debatable, the raized bed garden proved to be not only a good idea, but a thing of beauty for the neighbors to admire. In the interests of always looking for ways to conserve water, I think my next garden beds will actually be wicking beds. The goal was to produce a CV or Resume layout for a fictional character using the details supplied. Being a desktop publishing package InDesign has a bunch of useful tools for creating complex layouts.
With the planned design using a lot of Cyan, it would be handy to change the colour of the gridlines from blue. Our page is now ready to place elements accurately in relation to the structured gridlines.
Using variations in size and colour gives prominence to these elements, and helps display the various sections of information clearly. The main titles at the top of the page stand out the most with their size and vibrant background colour.
Draw a blue rectangle behind the text, but shorten it in size to just under the height of the baseline. Make any final checks to the page elements and ensure all items are aligned to the underlying grid. Unless you are applying to a creative agency, you’re going to want to go black and white and allow a healthy margin for inkjet printers. Many of them still detect keywords in PDF documents, but any special characters in your document can really screw things up. If you look closely you will see that there is only one line gap before the heading Computer Skills and the rest have two. I work in InDesign daily and know a lot of the ins and outs, but it’s still nice to see this program get some props.
Be sure to get into our Inner Circle course so we can teach you how to saturate Google, market through social media and more! So, assuming there is no need to lift the turf, this can be dug in and chopped up as the job proceeds. Don’t be at all worried if you finish up at the edge with a trench nearly the depth of your spade, this is as it should be. If it is to be used for summer and spring bedding, lightly dust with hydrated lime before raking. For circular and oval flower beds you start planting at the edge; in other words you put your border in first. After the two outer circles have been planted all the other plants are just put in equidistant from one another with no attempt at making a circle or any other figure. Having decided on the size and shape of the ellipse, put in pegs at A and B and loop a piece of string or garden line over the two pegs tying the ends together. The distance from the straight line A—B to C will be half the width of the bed and this is where you make the adjustment to suit the shape of the flower bed. I used 1 ?-inch nails for my thin pine-framed beds, and 4-inch screws for my thicker hemlock models.
If you limit your beds to 3 to 4 feet in width, you will not have to reach excessively, either. One side would likely be burried to ground level and the other side would probably be exposed completely (12″). Our drainage was terrible in places and the summer before we built them (rainy 2009), our harvest was pathetic–now we can hardly keep up with the production. But the 4-foot tall, wire-mesh fence that I placed around the garden keeps all the critters out.
Since the beds are planted with the plants closer together, I thought there would be less area available for the roots if the newspapers limit the depth the roots could grow. I found that when I built a bed close to the fence and could not go completly around the bed, 3 feet wide was best. Home Depot and similar stores sell galvanized steel retainers for basement windows that are below grade. I have a long flower (approx 22 feet) and ornamental grass garden in a sloped (not too steep) area alongside my house. Your flower and ornamental grass border sounds lovely, and I do understand the issue you have with dogs running through it! My edible crops (because I refuse to share them) are all located behind 4-foot tall wire-mesh fences.
In the center of each bed I put an irrigation system sprinkler head, and the entire vegetable bed is on it’s own zone. On the other hand, a thick mulch of grass clippings placed on a garden bed can become matted when wet, and keep moisture from reaching the soil below. And in summer, it is my habit to mix partially-composted leaves with soil for my container plantings and hanging baskets. Plants like onions and leeks are an exception — their foliage can never shade the soil, because it grows up, not out.


I have just about freed two old beds, but thought I might build a couple of raised beds…it has so hard to screen out the wire grass bit by bit from the soil.
The secondary information is displayed under medium sized titles, which are also displayed in blue.
This is where the design skills come handy: designing around limits that are set by HR and corporations and still be able to stand out is a real challenge.
A lot of our students see our 30 Day Make More Money With Your Blog Course that has been reviewed by over 100,000 clients and they want to follow suit and do the same thing. YouTube is what I use when we are doing a free course, looking for more SEO effect and it's not something that is going to a private group. It's a great little program for the beginner and they walk you through the entire process.
Add rotted manure, old potting soil or compost and, as the job proceeds, turn the soil to the centre to create a trench so that after the first spadeful or two you are digging round and round. The extra deep trench at the edge of the bed will allow you to rake down any debris, stones, clods of soil or roots which can then be easily collected. For example, supposing you are planting up a circular flower bed with lobelia and antirrhinums. Depending on the occupants of the bed, a ‘dot’ (taller-growing plant) is selected for the centre.
The tightness or slackness of this loop will decide on the type of elliptical bed that you make. The greater the distance the more tubby will be the bed and the smaller the distance from the line A—B to C will give you a much narrower flower bed design. I used untreated 1-by-10 inch pine for the beds in my Herb Garden (above). After one season the wood turned from boring beige to graceful gray. Running perpendicular to the hemlock-enclosed beds are four 2-by-8 foot beds framed with 1-by-10 inch pine. Unencumbered by rocks or hard clumps of soil, root vegetables like carrots and parsnips grow straight and long. I know that I won’t be getting all the benefits of a raised bed, but I think it will be a lot easier for me to tend to. I am thinking of brick or concrete as a permanent solution – the brick may look really nice paired with my colonial styled home. As for a substitute for leaves for topping-off your beds in the fall, you will probably have to rely on compost — either your own, homemade, or that obtained from a garden center or local, organic farm. Plus, the wooden frames make it easy to attach trellises, hoop houses and other covers to extend the season.
You simply plus it in, dump in your leaves, and out they come, shredded coarsely or finely as you please. Plus I could not grow anything under all the trees in my front yard, so I created my woodland garden.
Add another 10-12 inches for the raised bed, and, depending on how tall you are, you probably won’t have to do any bending at all.
Everything generally grows fairly well however maintenance is a lot of work and my dogs love running through the plantings.
To mitigate weeds in your pathways, consider lining the paths with thick layers of newspaper, or for longer-term, landscaping fabric. Alas without my being physically present on your property, I can’t advise on how, exactly, to best transform that border into a raised bed. Do you think it might be workable to put down newspapers in a heavy layer then then put the bed and new soil on top? This time my neighbor thought I was eccentric – stating that I would have more lumber in the garden than soil. We’re not planning on mass-producing the document so no bleed is necessary, but it could be handy if you’re planning on trimming down the final page if doubled up on an A3 printer. Also change the start to 0mm from the Top Margin, Increment them to every 13pt and untick the Grids in Back option.
The next level of information is set is a stronger weight font, but is toned back slightly with an 80% black, and finally the body text uses the standard 10pt black styling. It also means that your typographic variations for headers and subheads be defined in ways other than color (i.e. As it stands, my eye goes down the right column first without ever looking at the left column.
I have to remind them that before we had that free course, we had over 45,000 people go through our 7-Days To WordPress Video Course.
Plant circular, oval and triangular beds this way and after planting, run over the whole surface with a small Dutch hoe. I paved the paths between beds with pea gravel, and then enclosed the entire garden with wire mesh attached to pressure-treated posts.
Paths here are paved with shredded wood chips, and the garden is protected from woodchucks, rabbits, and deer by wire-mesh fencing. I’ve known other gardeners who fill their beds with packaged mixtures obtained from the garden center or hardware store.
We move it every fall, so it cover tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the summer and greens and leeks all winter. Have you experienced any issues with the newspaper lining for vegetables with a long tap root?
We primarily use the square-foot method, dividing the beds with wooden lathe strips and it looks great and helps me remember to plant intensively. We are in the city and our neighbor has to redo his fence and of course I had 2 beds by the fence. I laid out my kitchen garden yesterday with a can of spray paint and am ready for construction! After 10 years of planting and weeding and mulching with all my leaves, it really looks great. Informercial Queen Chalene Johnson taught me to video tape right when the sun comes up or right before it goes down. To ‘true’ up the flower bed edging use a half-moon edging iron and then, to neaten off the job, turn the rake with the head downwards and go around with the back of the rake to the turf edge gently tamping down.
I then get an early crop of spinach, turnips, radishes and various other greens before it is time to transplant the heat lovers. I doubled to beds (one on top of the other) in order ot keep my soil and found that it is great to work in the higher beds.
Thank you for the inspiration :] My question to you is: how do you prepare your beds for winter to keep seeds from germinating in the soil and how do you keep your pathways weed free?
Could you clarify your instructions for the frame construction – how deep into the ground can a board can be inserted on one side to make the bed level. I will add, that an elbow needs to be attached to the drain with a pipe stick up that will accept a hose. Have your assistant help you to upload your document to a password protected section on your own server or hosting account.
Most flower beds are left far too puffy with the result that the plants suffer as the soil settles.) Then decide on the distance to allow between plants and rows and mark out the positions of the first two rows using your trowel or measuring rod following the curve of the bed. It’s modular by nature, so you could make different configurations to fit just about any need.
Or should two different height boards be used so there is a limited amount of board in the ground? Now you've worked out some of the bugs, your clients are asking for what they need next, you are there to serve. Don't forget to add some graphics and other effects to make it an enjoyable item to read.
I too water a lot of the plants by hand as the rain barrels and my watering can are so close and convenient. Anyway, once the bed is complete and the veggies planted, apply water through the pipe that sticks up.
One thing I like about raised bed gardens is the ability to change the ph level in different beds for different plants. You save tons of money on watering and reduce the number of days needed, depending upon your climate. I have shredded leaves from last fall – can be used as mulch on top of the raised garden bed soil or should I work the shredded leaves into the soil? And a final question, the trellis in your garden is exactly what I am looking for – can you advise on its construction?



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