By: Jessie Keith
For vegetable gardening, berms are where it’s at. They provide increased aeration and drainage when weather conditions are wet, and encourage deep and expansive root growth to help veggies endure heat and drought. Truly berms are the perfect alternative for gardeners that don’t want to be locked into raised beds or can’t build them.
Lots of vegetables benefit from friable, bermed soil. Root crops like carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and rutabagas develop larger, more perfect roots for harvest. And vegetables requiring well-drained soil, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, will be safe from excess root moisture if planted on berms. And don’t forget melons; those planted in amended bermed beds tend to develop better fruits that are sweeter and more flavorful.
So how do you berm? Before berming the soil up, till or deeply turn your soil. Next, establish planting rows or mounds. Once these are set, apply a generous amount of Fafard Premium Organic Compost and work it in until well mixed. Bed berming is best done with a hard rake. Pull and lift the soil up along the planting rows or mounds. This takes a little elbow grease, but the results are well worth it.
Once the berms are created, put a layer of removable mulch cloth down and cover that with a layer of seed-free straw or grass clippings. This can help keep weeding down by up to 75%, helps keep moisture in and makes it easier to walk around the garden after a rain.
It’s best to use a very lightweight mulch cloth that’s easy to pull away, roll up and reuse the following season.
Before the plants are in the ground, the vegetable garden may look like a bumpy straw-covered mess, but once your garden has grown, you won’t even see the berms. Only beautiful garden will shine through.
This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.