raised garden bed
Photo: Kolin Smith
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9. Add a Raised Garden Bed

Why Now: You can extend the gardening season by facilitating better drainage and because the soil in a raised bed warms up and thaws out faster after a frost.

How To Do It: Use a kit, such as the 46-by-46-inch, 5½-inch-high bed from Suncast (about $50; sears.com), which consists of sturdy, and food-safe, BPA-free resin panels that snap together and are secured to the ground with steel spikes. There's even a tiered model that goes from 9 inches to 18 inches tall, offering more growing options within a smaller footprint and requiring less stooping.

The Payoff: A small setup like this one can yield more than $100 worth of home-grown fruits and vegetables a year.
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