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Raised Paths... Instead of Raised Beds?

September 17, 2015

Most folks are familiar with raised beds or mounded beds for their gardens.  While the concept works great in many areas of the country, the idea doesn’t always work here along the coastline of central Florida.  If you live here, you will find that the soil conditions are extremely sandy, which is not the most ideal situation if you are trying to create a lush green space - especially one without an irrigation system.  Most Floridians rely on irrigation (during the dry months), but since sand lacks organic matter, it doesn’t hold on to water; instead, it drains right into the aquaphor underground. 

 

So how do we keep that from happening? We apply a heavy layer of biologically active mulch directly over the top of the sandy soil; this topdressing has nutrient holding capacity & will store enormous amounts of water to remain available to the vegetation, as needed.

 

…Why Raised Paths? 

We have installed many raised/mounded beds over the last few years & have been able to observe a few things to learn from.  Unless they are being watered regularly, they dry out very easily.  We always like the “work smarter, not harder” rule, so after a few series of heavy rain, we also noticed that the paths were holding the water more than the raised/mounded beds we had installed.  After talking about the concepts as a team, the idea of raised paths was born!  This incredible property in Lake Magdalene, Tampa is an edible forest garden showcase that is exemplifies how raising the paths can be another huge ally to this low-input system!

If you are interested in learning more about concepts like these, we are continuously hosting some awesome events packed with tons of useful information.  to learn more about our educational outreach, click here to be directed to our events calendar.

 

 

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Recap: Edible Forest Gardens Design Intensive w/ Eric Toensmeier

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