Raised beds are a very popular method for growing vegetables and other produce. There are several distinct advantages to growing in raised beds. They can really make growing vegetables much easier, and you can usually get a much larger harvest for the space. One of the biggest advantages to growing in raised beds is the fact that you can save a lot of space over traditional gardening. If you plant in rows, as most people do in traditional gardening, about half of your garden space is taken up by the paths between rows! That’s a lot of wasted space. But if you plant in raised beds, you save a lot of space, and you can plant more per square foot than you could in rows. This means you can harvest a lot more produce from the same amount of space. Another distinct advantage is the fact that you can have good soil more easily than you could in a traditional garden. In a traditional garden, you have to mix your compost in with your tilled soil. This means you have to first use a tiller to loosen the soil. Then you have the back-breaking task of turning the compost into the soil. This can take a very long time, and is very hard work. With raised bed gardening, you can simply use compost as your soil! You can choose to till the soil underneath your raised bed, or you can leave it alone. Most plants will grow without the tilling of the soil underneath. Then you can just fill your raised bed frame with compost and plant directly into it. It’s certainly much easier than turning compost into existing soil. Raised beds are generally about 4 feet wide and 6 feet in length. They’re made from a wooden frame set on the ground, often on tilled earth. They’re generally spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart to allow for walking between the frames to care for the plants. They’re usually separated into 1 foot sections, with each section holding a certain number of plants based on the size of the mature plant. Very large plants may need an entire 1x1 foot square. Smaller plants may be planted 4, 8, or even 16 per 1 foot square. You can plant up to 16 radishes or carrots in a single square foot! In order to divide your raised bed, you would section off 1x1 foot areas. Then you would section those off into smaller sections based on the size of the plants you wanted to grow there. For larger plants like tomatoes or broccoli, you’d simply plant one in each square foot. If you wanted to plant lettuce, you can fit 4 per square foot, you you’d divide each square foot into four equal squares. For radishes or carrots, you’d divide each section into 16 equal squares. Once the space is divided using string or small pieces of wood, you plant your seeds or seedlings in the center of each section. Another fantastic benefit of raised bed gardening is the fact that you don’t have as many weeds to deal with. Since the soil you place on top is generally fresh compost or soil mix, there shouldn’t be as many weed seeds in it as there would be in tilled soil. Any weeds that do make it into your garden are easily spotted and pulled out. Raised bed gardeners often find caring for their gardens much easier. With fewer weeds and plants that are closer together, gardening becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. It’s a great way to get more produce out of the space you have available, and it’s generally easier, too.