a raised garden bed with a bench in front
Photo: Mark Turner
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Create a Raised Bed

A raised bed filled with good soil will warm up and dry out faster in spring, and the added elevation will help keep people from walking across it and compacting the soil or trampling tender shoots. A bed 4 feet square works well, but adjust dimensions to fit your space. Along a wall or fence, go for 2 feet in depth (learn how to build one of any size at thisoldhouse.com/bonus). Grow more food and shade out weeds by staggering plants in all directions and not in rows.

Shown: A bench near a raised bed serves as a knee rest.
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