Fig. 1 Lettuce plants growing in miniature garden beds.
Raised-bed gardening can improve plant growth, conserve resources, and prevent soil compaction and erosion. Let me explain. The use of an enclosure, no matter how simple (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2), allows soil and other soil-amendments to remain in place - defying erosion. Garden beds define the places that are exclusively for plants and are off limits to traffic. Water and fertilizer can be applied right where they are needed.
We experimented on using Redwood fence boards to make simple garden beds. The soil underneath is relatively good hence there was no need for a deep bed. Some of the beds were made small to facilitate succession planting. A new crop can be planted in a bed without having to wait for the other beds to be ready. Succession planting prolongs the length of harvest season for any given crop.
So far, I am very pleased with the outcome of this experiment.
Fig. 2 Good soil is contained in the garden box.
For the small spaces in your garden, try these easy mini-garden-beds.