How to start a raised-bed veggie garden

New gardener Reed Davis chronicles each step, misstep, and big juicy victory as he turns a small patch of soil into a bountiful vegetable garden

The garden plan
Photo by Reed Davis

The garden plan

In this 10- by 60-ft. garden, small square planters contain low-growing edibles. A long raised bed with a trellis sits against a sun-warmed wall and holds heat-loving and vining crops. Davis keeps a beehive (for pollination), but it’s not essential.

Each 4- by 4-ft. box can accommodate 5 or 6 low-growers. Davis mixes basil, crookneck squash, eggplant, peppers, and zucchini, plus taller tomatoes.

Adding a trellis to a 2- by 24-ft. raised bed allowed Davis to grow vining crops (beans, cucumbers). He puts big crops like artichokes at the side, places low-growers at the front, and adds flowers (such as calendula and marigolds) for color.

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