Raised garden - Knowledgebase Question

Las Cruces, NM
Question by jimglo52
January 29, 2008
We would like to make a raised vegetable garden out of blocks. We live in the desert and have rabbit, bird and pack rat problems and would need to build a cover over the raised garden. Would you have any plans available or ideas for a project like this? We would like to put in a drip water system as it is very hot here during the summer.

Answer from NGA
January 29, 2008


I'm not aware of any plans, but raised beds can be built as simply or as complex as you have the skill and materials to build. In general a small rise of about a foot can be very effective in allowing you to create a good growing bed. The width is determined by your reach -- four feet is a typical width for this reason, it also happens to make good use of a standard length of lumber. You can also use rocks or even build the beds with bare soil sides rather than in a container. The depth of the bed is often based on the amount of material available to fill it, since the cubic yardage is rather daunting if there is a large square footage involved. Generally a mix of native soil and compost or other organic materials would be recommended. Additional amendments (eg nutrients or lime) would be added according to the results of basic soil tests. I've found that bird netting draped over the top of the bed will effectively keep animals from raiding the garden. If draped loosely over the top, the plants can continue to grow without restriction - just be sure to firmly anchor the edges so bunnies and rats cannot crawl under the netting. A drip system should be simple to install and for ease of planting and digging, I'd simply lay the lines atop the soil.

Best wishes with your raised bed project.

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