by Avis Licht
This raised bed has many positive attributes. Let me count the ways.
1. It is easy to build. Using either recycled or new wood, you only need to put the four sides together with angle brackets. I suggest that you make the bed small enough that you can reach over to harvest and weed; not more than 3 feet deep. It should be long enough to grow the kind of crop you want and fit into the area that you want to put it.
2. You can put wire underneath the bed easily to keep the gophers out. I suggest using hardware cloth, as it is strong and won’t rust out for a long time and the opening is small enough to keep the gophers from coming through.
3. You can fill the raised bed with the best topsoil for your needs. You can buy organic soil and add compost or manure depending on your crops. Basically, you have more control over the soil when you bring it in, but it can also be expensive. If you have reasonable topsoil in your garden, you can mix it with amendments. Bought topsoil also has the advantage of being weed free.
4. The beauty of the cover is that it can be used as a cold frame when covered with plastic, a shade bed when covered with shade cloth or as bird protection when covered with bird netting. With hinges it is easy to open and close. This makes for better control of temperature in the bed: you can prop it all the way open if the sun is out or just a little bit for air flow. A hinged top makes for easy harvesting. Take a look at this picture of my kale, that the birds are using as a bird feeder. Yikes! Gotta get a cover on them.
Let me know what beds you use and if they work well for you.