Size Matters

By Fred Montague

by Fred Montague

A 3 ft. by 6 ft. raised bed gardening system beats a 4×8 on several counts—learn why, and how to build one.

montagueOver the years, my wife, Pat, and I have tried several gardening methods in a number of locations. We continually refine our approach as we learn from friends and neighbors, from books and from the garden itself. Plants aren’t the only things that grow.
We’ve grown large sprawling gardens with long, straight rows in the fertile floodplain of a midwestern creek. We’ve planted in patches in woodland clearings and among the scrub oak, sagebrush and boulders in the Rocky Mountain highlands (at an elevation of 6,500 feet). We’ve gardened on university campuses and at elementary schools in urban areas. We’ve grown garden plants on apartment windowsills and balconies in containers and in cold frames and greenhouses. If we were to begin a garden (in any temperate climate location) to grow food for a small family and we had a small garden area (say 15 ft. x15 ft.), I would use 3 ft. x 6 ft. raised beds.

This article was originally published on April 1, 2011.