[permaculture] More thoughts on double digging while preparing raised garden beds.

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Mon Dec 21 19:08:00 EST 2009

 From an email to Tripp:


That is the way to build a raised bed through there are important 
details (the ones the devil is in) that need to be considered, many 
based on soil type and climate and lay of the land.
She is exactly right about the dimensions of the bed design she 
recommends except that one needs the ditch (not really a path) between 
the beds needs _to extend below grade 25% to 40% of the total bed 
height_ thus actually extending the actual working height of the beds 
considerably - you see, you provide extra aeration of the part of the 
bed below grade that is exposed to the ditch between the beds. The other 
dimensions she suggests are perfect, 4 feet wide (measured approximately
across the bed exactly at existing grade level. This bed width can be 
modified according to the height of the gardener(s) using the beds so 
that they will be able to do any work needed in the bed, leaning over
to reach the middle but not having to put their foot on the bed to keep 
from falling forward. The 20 inches between beds (measured at existing 
grade as shown in th diagram) is ideal. Of course you put all weeds 
removed from the garden into this ditch to conserve water, create a 
walking path protecting the soil underneath from compaction and, as they 
decompose, provide nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to leach into 
the garden soil for added tilth and fertility, food for soil dwelling 
creatures and particulate matter to use in constructing their habitat;
soil colloid and soil crumb structure are keywords in this instance.

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