Tuesday, 17 March 2009

More Raised Bed Nonsense - New And Improved!

I've been trying to get to the source of where this raised bed nonsense started and I think I may have found it:

Mel tells us he's not a horticulturalist, he's a civil engineer - he can build a box. Unfortunately for us he's also either a well-intentioned fool or a snake oil salesman. Going by the claims he makes I'd suggest the latter: he says compared with traditional methods his system uses 90% less water, 95% less seeds, will solve the world's hunger problems...no doubt it'll also give me a full head of hair and make me irresistible to women. He doesn't substantiate these claims, no doubt I'm supposed to buy the books and DVDs to find out - he must be one wealthy snake oil salesman judging by the amount he's managed to shift.

So you don't have to dig up your lawn - actually Mel that's exactly what you should be doing, even Michelle Obama's managed to figure that out. The soil is already there! You don't have to move it from A to B! You don't need to build boxes to put it in! This is not civil engineering!

Good grief Charlie Brown. Only in America.


dinzie said...

The raised bed gardening works ..I've had a very successful year using it .. Due to circumstances I don't have the luxury of a good vegetable plot to develop. I can use the raised beds (made myself out of non treated timber - you are right no engineering degree for that) and organic soil/compost brought in.. Watering not an issue as I have a layer (or two) of pea straw to hold the water ...These beds are ontop of solid clay ...I've also grown tomatoes this way on top of the tarmac in our yard successfully too ....

Given the choice I would pretty much use the methods you use. But this system works fine ....As for the planting I think it goes back further than that ...There is a french intensive gardening practice that goes back some way ....


Simon said...

Thanks for comment dinzie. Your garden looks really impressive so you obviously know what you're talking about. I'm not against raised beds per se, I realise there are situations where the soil may be so bad that there's no alternative - although clay soils are inherently very fertile and just need the addition of manure and grit to open them up to release their goodness. My real beef is the way in which the gardening press in the UK (who are beholden to their advertisers) are marketing them to new gardeners no matter what their situation. Maybe I should have made that clearer.

Cheers and happy gardening

PS I'd be interested to know how you found your way to my blog?