Raised bed: a - a layer of branches and limbs (25 cm), b - double layer of turf, c — plant residues (20 cm), d - a layer of half-decomposed manure or compost (15 cm), e - cover made of fertile garden soil (25 cm), f - watering groove.
As mentioned before, planting plants has a positive effect on their growth and yield, and improves the soil structure. Thanks to this method, the health of plants increases and the quality of products is improved.
The most recommendable is the raised bed, which, according to Beb - Andrae, prepares as follows. In a sunny place, the soil is selected to a depth of up to 20 cm and a width of 1.4-1.6 m; the length depends on the space and possibilities. The bed should run north-south. The excavated soil is laid along the edge of the groove, because it will be needed to cover the bed. The construction of the mound is shown in the drawing. In the center of the dug groove, cut thick boughs and branches are placed (a), covers them with a layer of turf (b) and leaves, nettles and other plant debris (c). The layers must be tamped well and plentifully drained with water, and then cover with half-decomposed manure or compost (d). The outer layer (e) forms well-decomposed compost or sieved garden soil, which can also be added to each layer of the mound. The outer layer can be enriched with organic fertilizers. Carefully tamping the whole thing will ensure a good structure of the raised bed.
It is best to establish such a flower bed in autumn. Many different types of waste can then be used, which will decompose by spring. The heat released in the process of decomposition of organic matter warms the soil, which enables earlier sowing, and also causes stronger and faster growth of early spring crops. In the event of a risk of frost, the entire flower bed can be covered with foil or sprinkled with valerian flower extract..
Inside, branches constitute the lowest layer of the raised bed, therefore the water seepage from the soil is very low, therefore plants require more watering, especially on light soils. This is facilitated by a groove on the top of the mound (f), which we fill with water. Many species of plants can be grown on such a plot. Each gardener will quickly develop his own mound cultivation system, therefore we will limit ourselves only to general tips and recommendations. In the first year, tomatoes can be grown on an elevated bed, but not allowing the plants to grow too high. We don't plant strawberries or potatoes until the third year. Put the seed potatoes into the wells of a depth of approx 15 cm, so they do not require backfilling. On an elevated bed, the rules for rotating previously discussed must also be followed. In the first two years, crops with the highest nutritional requirements should be cultivated. Already in the second year, it is possible to grow legumes (bean, pea), which activate the life of the soil. It is advisable to constantly mulch the surface, e.g.. mown grass, which prevents the soil from being washed away by heavy rains, excessive evaporation and promotes the accumulation of water. One should also carefully observe whether voles inhabited the plot, for it is the perfect habitat for them.
After about 4 or 6 years, we start planting a new flower bed, for in the old one there will be complete decomposition of organic matter. You can then level it and plant fruit trees or bushes on it. By using the cultivation on elevated beds, we gradually fertilize the soil in our garden.