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Bay-Friendly Garden Tour Highlights: Raised Beds

Let’s face it. Gardening? Might seem like a harmless activity, but it’s hell on the body. All that bending? Kills the back. All that crawling around in the dirt? Might seem like fun to some people, but the knees! The knees!

I know. I sound like I’m Methuselah or something. But I swear to you, this is brutal stuff, and I haven’t even started talking about mosquitoes. Or earwigs.

This is why I squealed with delight when we rounded the corner of a house in Alameda during the Bay-Friendly Garden Tour and spotted a whole series of raised beds. And I’m not talking just slightly raised beds, people. I’m talking way the heck up.

Really raised beds!

OSHA would be proud. These beds? Utterly ergonomic.

Not only that, but my OCD tendencies positively purred when I noticed the elevated wooden beds had perfect little square boxes that held each plant.

Perfect lettuce heads in their little square boxes

And there were maps that charted out the whole planting pattern.

A map exists for each raised bed

Now, my OCD side loved this, but the other side of me, the side that, some days, decides there is really no reason to make the bed nor hang up my clothes, shuddered a little bit. I don’t know that I could necessarily make a plan that involved rows and rows of perfect lettuce.

OK, maybe I could make the plan. But executing it would definitely be harder. Even at a comfortable, ergonomically-correct height.

5 Comments on “Bay-Friendly Garden Tour Highlights: Raised Beds”

  1. #1 Lydia
    on May 7th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Those beds are gorgeous. Only one flaw for me — raising the beds that high makes them much easier for the deer to nibble on the veggies! But some fencing might take care of that.

  2. #2 Bernieh
    on May 7th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t mind the knee-cracking, back breaking garden work … at least I know the bits are still working even if they’re a little worn and worse for wear! But I do have to say I rather like the look of these raised beds … they do look great.

  3. #3 inadvertentgardener
    on May 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Lydia, that’s true, and these folks had pretty high privacy fencing around the whole garden that deer would really have trouble getting over. Come to think of it, I’m actually not sure that there are even deer on Alameda. There might be…but it’s an island, so they might be free of them.

    Bernieh, aren’t they cool? And yes…there is something to all that bending and crawling around that’s good for the body, but for anyone with mobility issues, these raised beds would be terrific.

  4. #4 Pilar
    on May 8th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I am coveting those raised beds! I love handling soil and plants, but hate the bending!!!!

  5. #5 Tony
    on May 16th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Raised beds are definitely the way to go as we get older. They are also much more manageable. It is the only way to garden at my house.

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