Very often I have been asked about using raised beds with the Back To Eden garden method. Oddly we have actually lived thru this whole process of experimentation with raised beds and using the BTE approach. What did we learn???
Here is our story.
When we first arrived to our homestead we were faced with clay and rocks and nothing suitable in terms of soil for a garden. It was a desperate situation since we came out here to really rely primarily on the garden and hunting to fill the pantry.
When we did our research and discovered the BTE method we thought the best and only route to take would be creating raised beds on top of that hard clay soil, bring in some top soil, pay for a little compost...(since we had ZERO at this point) and then use the aged woodchips we had been so blessed to gather in the area!
That first year we had a wonderful garden. Green lush and productive.
BUT it took alot of labor to get to that starting point. AND it was a investment financially. Which was something we did not plan on when thinking about starting a garden!
The next year we loaded more woodchips on the garden and planted again. We noticed the soil becoming richer and the need for watering almost nil!
Going into the third year our soil had actually grown! The beds were popping out of the sides of the raised beds..rich fertile...filled with worms and microfibers of life! With all of that living STUFF we knew the raised bed walls had to come down!!!
That year we tore down every last block ! It was so much work, but so worth the effort as we watched the garden floor grow and expand. Our heirloom seeds were now pollinating on the garden floor randomly proving to use how valuable this wood chip method was in mimicking nature! And as the chips decomposed we saw the earth grow!!! WE knew in hindsite that having raised beds for this method defeated the purpose of REFLECTING nature....
There is no containing this method once you get it going..!!
So our advice...IF IF IF you are starting from scratch... AND CHOOSING this very particular method..BACk TO EDEN.....start from the ground WHERE nature starts! Dont spend needless money on beds...WE NEED to rethink and relearn how to garden!!!! Break free from the old conventional way of gardening and really think about how nature works!!!! This method will be the closets you will get to being garden that works with nature..is organic..and has endless possibilities for your future! Many benefits! AND..for those who have beds...never fret. This method, although should not be contained in a box..will still give you good healthy strong plants and do what its suppose to!!
We also want to mention there are millions of gardeners out there with beautiful raised bed gardens. I look on with gleaming eyes they are so beautiful and productive. Raised beds work! And they work well. But for us on our homestead with this BTE method...rinsed beds outgrew us immediately!!! THIS method specifically is intended to be FREE!!!
God Bless and keep on gardening!!~Starry