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Posted on Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

Learn raised bed construction in a Master Gardener talk at Nicola's Books

By Jim and Janice Leach


Janice Leach | Contributor

The Master Gardener Talks Series at Nicola’s Books continues on Monday, Feb. 13 with a presentation on Raised Bed Construction and Gardening. The talk begins at 6 p.m. at Nicola's Books at 2513 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor.

Raised beds have many advantages over traditional garden beds. Their soil tends to warm earlier in the season, allowing for earlier planting. Raised beds tend to have better drainage, which many plants appreciate. The placement and design of raised beds allow for easy access from the paths so the soil does not get compacted.

Additionally, gardeners have more control over the soil in raised beds because they can 'build it up' with compost and organic matter as they construct the bed. After they are built, raised beds provide low maintenance gardening.

Building a raised bed is a not-too-difficult project that can quickly increase the size and quality of the growing space in a garden. This workshop will provide tips and ideas for constructing raised beds for your garden.

The talks are led by members of the Master Gardener Alumni Association of Washtenaw County. Master Gardeners are enthusiastic gardeners/volunteers trained by the Extension Service in horticultural information and research-based gardening methods. For more information about the local MSU Extension program, see their website.

The series will continue on the second Monday of each month. Future talks will include these topics:

March 12 - Starting Plants from Seed

April 9 - The "Dirt" on Soils and Fertilizers

May 14 - Shade Gardens and Spring Ephemerals

This lively and informative discussion will inspire the home gardener to expand and deepen his or her gardening knowledge — and gardening plots.

Janice and Jim Leach tend a backyard plot in downtown Ann Arbor, where they try to grow as many vegetables and other plants as possible. For the last four years, they've published gardening tips, photos and stories at their 20 minute Garden website.