in the square foot gardening book they make a big deal about the soil quality and the fact that it is airy and not compressed.
but forests have nice dark dirt under the leaves............they are not great places to grow veggies due to shade
good soil like miracle grow
these are the kinds of things they list in certain proportions..................I actually think it maybe compost or soil.............
people who dig their veggie gardens and turn the soil are aerating the soil.................and fluffing it up..................
the raised bed idea was to eliminate the need to dig so much and to raise up the bed
digging is hard work
bending is hard on the back...............yet some raised beds are really not that high...........just put soil on top of the existing ground with a border...........
I am looking to keep my gardening efforts easier because my body aches! knees back energy etc and
I would like to have the garden be something that I don't have to keep redoing so much.............that is why I just LOVE PERENNIALS!
I also have only a few sunny locations.
one is in the front yard
one is on my deck
because of this I use containers on the deck and want to have a few raised beds up front.
I didn't get the raised beds built because I built a new coop.!
I also planted 2 gooseberry bushes in the front sun..............with the usual digging a hole method.
I often cut corners and still have a lot of success (and a few failures, which I try to learn from). If I did what the gardening books recommend, I'd never even get started, I just don't have that much time or energy. I made raised beds in an established garden area and just shovelled the soil from between the beds into them. If any more was required, they would still be a pile of boards with weeds growing around them!
I don't mean to criticize the way others do things, they probably get better results, but sometimes "good enough" is all you can manage, often we even have to scale down what seems good enough.
This year my garden focus is on teaching my younger nieces (10 and 12), the basics of gardening. We are doing some fun stuff (indian corn from a cob they saved from last fall's decorations) as well as practical stuff (potatoes under a lot of mulch). They actually like to weed, and they are actively learning to recognize the weeds and the vegetables. I'm so proud of them.