In the summer of 2011, I had raised beds made to accommodate a wheelchair and my short arm width necessary to reach across to weed. They have landscape fabric to control weeds on the bottom, a layer of sod face down, then layers of newspaper and leaves that will decompose and on top, regular soil.
I have perennial plants only, not vegetables. It is necessary to closely monitor the height of the plants because the beds are already three feet off the ground, so yarrow for instance, would grow taller than the house if planted here! I have saved the compost only for the bed that will host strawberries and I put chicken wire only in the areas I have spring bulbs. I am extremely happy with them!
By Cheryl from upstate NY
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