Garden / June 25, 2018 / .
A raised bed is ideally 18 - 24 inches deep, but if you are building your raised beds on top of existing earth you wilI have some leeway here. I have successfully gardened in boxes built over earth with only one foot of soil depth. You can find both detailed instructions for building a raised beds and multiple choices for buying raised beds here.
Without regular water, vegetables will not fill out and some, like tomatoes, will crack open if suddenly plumped up with water after struggling without for awhile. You can not always rely on rain. If you have the means, a drip irrigation system is a definite plus for a vegetable garden. The new component systems are really quite easy to install and cost a lot less than most people think. And you will save money on water, because it goes directly to the plants roots. Less is lost to evaporation.
Crop Rotation is a great tool for keeping pests and diseases out of the vegetable garden. Rotating your vegetables so they grow in different areas of the garden each year is an excellent way to cut down on diseases and insect pests that over winter in the soil. This really is not possible in small vegetable gardens. You will just have to be vigilant about not letting problems get out of hand. If a large scale problem should occur, such as squash beetles or septoria leaf spot on tomatoes, seriously consider not growing the crop for a year. It will be a sacrifice, but one year without is better than several years of a disappointing crop.
An extended growing season. A raised bed will warm up faster than the ground in the spring and in the fall your bed can easily be tented to extend your growing season by a few weeks or so. Location, location, location: Grow food in the location of your choice regardless of soil conditions as you will be adding your own.