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Potatoes and Beyond

Big Results from a Small Raised Bed

Kathleen Fennelly
Kathleen Fennelly displays an eggplant she grew in her Grow Bed. Other vegetables she grows include tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, beans, peas, summer squash and cabbage.

Kathleen Fennelly started gardening 25 years ago, but a car accident has limited her ability to work in the garden. Never defeated, Kathleen decided to grow vegetables in raised beds around her yard instead of in traditional garden beds. The first four years of gardening this way were not as productive as she had hoped. "I was able to grow some vegetables, but never enough to justify the expense and labor invested. I was particularly discouraged by the poor production of the potatoes that I planted," she says.

Then she tried the Gardener's Supply Grow Beds. "For the first time I was able to grow enough potatoes to feed us for several months," she says. "I dedicated 12 beds to potato production and was particularly pleased that it was so easy to harvest from these beds."

Though the Grow Beds were originally designed with potato production in mind, many gardeners—including Kathleen—are discovering that these 3' x 3' x 10" H beds are great for growing everything from garlic to sweet peas. Made from recycled plastic, they are easy to put together and will last for many years.

"I have three beds of eggplants that have produced 30 to 40 eggplants," said Katheen. " I have picked more than 40 peppers from two other Grow Beds and will probably harvest 20 more before a killing frost." Kathleen also grows tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, beans, peas, summer squash, cabbage and herbs in her beds. "This is a fabulous product. I have 30 of these Grow Beds around my yard and am planning on adding six to nine more for next year," she says. "They're great for people with disabilities because they require less bending, limited weeding, less cultivation, and are easier to water. I garden organically and find that using raised beds to separate plants from each other discourages many of the normal insects," she adds.

The Grow Beds also lend themselves well to other time-saving techniques. Last year was a very dry year for gardening, so Kathleen incorporated some Terra-Sorb moisture-saving crystals in some of the beds. "I couldn't believe the difference those crystals made. I saved crops most gardeners lost."

The Grow Beds have yet another advantage over Kathleen's traditional garden. "They're so much easier to protect from spring and fall frosts." she says. She uses Garden Quilt and other garden fabrics to extend the growing season well into the fall.

Kathleen also has strawberries, blueberries, apples, cranberries, and raspberries around her one-acre property. "It's so satisfying to see all these fruits and vegetables grown organically on my own land. I love to cook, and it's important for me to know that I am not poisoning my land or my food," she says.

Last updated: 10/24/15