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How To Set Up A No-Till Raised Row Garden In The Spring – Episode 107

Hit the play button below to listen to this weeks episode : How To Set Up A No-Till Raised Row Garden This Spring. Below you will also find our show notes along with reference and product links from the article. Be sure to check out all of our past episodes on the website, here at : SIMPLE LIFE GARDEN EPISODES

Show Outline / Show Notes – How To Create A Raised Row Garden


How Raised Row Gardening Began For Us – The Story

Not only is a raised row garden easier to maintain, but also less expensive and time consuming.


  • No Need For A Rototiller
  • In fact, no special tools needed at all!
  • Can Get In The Garden Fast / Less Work / Less Weeds

Creating A Raised Row From Scratch

  • Can be created from an existing garden, or right on top of a grassy area.

The Raised Row Garden

Setting up in spring for the first year vs. ongoing years – lower and lower maintenance as each year passes

The Walking Rows

  • Mulching permanently
  • 75% of a typical garden space
  • no need to ever maintain again

The Growing Rows

  • 18″ wide x length
  • conserve precious nutrients, compost, etc.
  • never walk on these areas
  • tapered mounds


How to plant transplants

  • post hole digger method
  • breaking through soil below
  • stakes / cages in first
  • fill the hole with nutrients
  • mulching on top for power
  • final mulch using straw or clippings or leaves

How to plant seed crops

  • use a pick to create furrows
  • plant and cover, compost in the furrow
  • mulching seed crops

Maintenance In The Summer

  • 5 to 10 minutes a day – not only easy, but keeps you aware of what is happening in the garden.
  • re-mulching the growing rows
  • staying on the walking rows, off of the growing rows
  • watering
  • fertilizing
raised row garden
The raised row garden at our Old World Garden Farm.

The Fall – The Magic Begins

Not only does a cover crop provide winter protection, but also helps eliminate next years weeds. In fact, with each successive year, the weeds become almost non-existent.

  • Begin by clearing out all of the existing plants. Next, rake back the straw.
  • Not only is planting a cover crop easy, it is an inexpensive way to feed your soil too.
  • seed rows vs. transplant rows – keep rotation in mind for what you will be planting next year
  • Always be sure to keep soil covered with mulch, crops or cover crops. Because the soil will always be covered, it helps to eliminate the chance of future weeds.

The Following Spring

  • The following spring it is all about cover crop maintenance
  • mowing off cover crop – not only easy, but builds nutrients in to the soil.
  • how to plant through the cover crop
  • why the advantages to raised row only get better with each passing year.

Wrap Up

Not only is Raised Row gardening easy and cost-effective, it produces great results. In fact, our first garden produced over 2000+ pounds of fresh vegetables from a 20 x 60 plot!


Saturday 19th of February 2022

I have a question, we want to start a new garden plot in a meadow. We tilled it up this fall and left it sit for the winter. The plot is in a low lying wet area and is heavy clay soil. So we are thinking of doing raised row garden rows. My question is, can we do the first layer with fresh wood chips, and then do another couple inches of 5 yr old horse manure/hay, then we plan to top off with 6 inches of screened top soil. I was wondering if it's a bad idea to use the wood chips as the bottom layer? My thought was that it would help soak up some of the wet areas and give a good base to put our next two layers on. We would be doing this here in March sometime and then I would be planting in it by the end of April. I would appreciate your advice on this! Thank you!

sue harmeling

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

Thank you for all this information. This will be my first year gardening. We have your book so have an idea as how to begin. We did rototill so I am wondering if we will take soil from our walking rows to build up our growing rows or will we have to bring in extra soil. Or is the straw and leaves in the growing rows enough extra to make the raised rows?