Permanent raised beds (PRB) are used for various cropping systems throughout the world, but are still not common for commercial, small scale, mixed vegetable production in the Northeastern United States. A PRB system intentionally designates permanent growing space for crops that is cultivated year after year, and often includes tilling the rows while leaving the inter-rows untouched. However, we have established our PRB system as a no-till system to reduce soil disturbance and weed seed germination.
As organically managed farm, we have found this system to be an effective way to passively manage weeds, without the use of herbicides. The data from this research will allow us to systematically measure factors influencing soil health, weed management, and production capacity. We will post the results from year one in winter of 2018. Check back to see what we learn!
This research is funded by a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Farmer Grant.