In the spring I converted big parts of the front lawn into beds for vegetables. The ground here suffers very much from soil compaction so I followed the advice from John Seymour on how to build raised beds. Well, not 100% by the book since I only worked below the surface. I took the turf and turned it upside down and put it in the bottom of the hole. Then I loosened up the soil and put it on top of the turf in the bottom of the hole and took away the biggest stones. This will make it easy for the roots of the vegetables to dig themselves down in the soil. You’re supposed to put an equal amount of soil above the surface, preferably kept in place by a wooden frame around the bed. But I stopped when the work was done below, and it is working fine with potatoes and onions.
The trick is that the bed is only 1.2 m (50 inch) wide so you’re able to remove the weeds without stepping into the bed, letting the soil stay loose. You need lanes between beds to walk on but with the loose soil you can grow the crops with less space between the rows, because the roots will have an easy time going downwards, yielding big crops. The method of raised beds was used in France and other places more than hundred years ago close to the big cities where the lots where small but unlimited horse manure was available. I didn’t use horse manure on this particular bed but on the others I built it is working wonders.