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Question: We would really like to plant a garden this year but donít want the hassle of digging, hoeing, tilling ó we also have poor soil! Is there an easier way to grow flowers and veggies?

Answer: Absolutely! Easy to build and customize and highly effective, raised beds are popular for both novice and expert growers, especially if you have poor soil. Here are some basics for your garden.

Select your site: A flat area with plenty of sun (depending on what you are growing) is best.

Decide size and shape. Access to all areas without stepping in the garden is important so 4 feet wide is a good choice. If building along a wall or fence, keep around 3 feet wide. 6 inches is a good depth for most plants, but deeper is always better!

Prep your spot. It is best to remove the grass under your new bed and agitate the soil somewhat, but to save time weed block, landscape fabric or cardboard can be used to smother the grass below.

Build your bed frame. Rot resistant lumber such as cedar or composite or concrete blocks or similar are good choices ó avoid chemically treated woods. Cut pieces to size and attach using screws, nails, brackets or even butt joints. Level your frame.

Add a mix of topsoil, compost, rotted manure etc.

Plant away!

The North Idaho Building Contractors Associationís Home & Garden Show presented by CW Wraps & Marketing is March 3-5 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. For more information, call (208) 765-5518 or go online www.nibca.com.

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