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Bed building for market garden? Advice needed

Posts: 25
Location: Deering, NH
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Not sure if this is the correct forum for this question...but here it goes.

I have a small existing garden with wooden raised beds and hilled soil raised beds. I am adding market gardens off of this location. Original plan was starting with (4) 20 x 20 in a grid with paths. Started to work the ground with a drag harrow, top of a hill...soil is very compacted, sandy for the most part in my extended planned area. Changed it to 5 beds surrounding existing garden, soil is a little better there. Was just going to do rows...but now I am thinking about keyhole gardens surrounding existing raised beds. thinking it will be more efficient. Also going to do some rows on the outside areas of these keyholes for cut flowers and things like tomatoes and vertical crops to make harvesting easier.

Wondering if I should attempt Hugelkultur on the keyhole beds, or just do hilled soil? They will be more mounded than flat, but still not the recommended height and steepness that Holzer and others recommend. I don't have a lot of compost and soil to work with, so was thinking this might be a good option to conserve resources, add to future soil fertility etc. Could also do sun traps on the south and east facing keyholes.

This area will comprise of about 100 feet surrounding my garden in an L shape. The outer rows will probably be 20 feet in length, several of them on the outside of keyholes.

Any tips, advice or insight on building and planting would be most appreciated. Zone 5a New Hampshire. Open hilltop elevation 1,000 feet or so.

I will be growing herbs, veggies, flowers for market. Some annuals and some perennials. Eventually adding fruit when I can get my hands on some trees and bushes.

I have yet to take a PDC course, but have read many books. The high spot is about 150 feet or so from the new garden area, thinking it might be a good area for a pond.

All the best,

Kindred Hill Farm

Posts: 92
Location: Southeast MN (Zone 5b)
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I think what you have in mind sounds great an since you are starting from scratch it would be a great time experiment with some hugelkutur

This spring when prepping a new raised bed I threw in all my downed branches from the winter along with some slabs from the wood pile. It will be a faux hugel.

Keep me posted, I think I am in the same zone as you!
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