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Laurel County African American Heritage Center Inc.


Elevate Your Garden:

Raised Garden Beds

In the world of gardening, raised garden beds have become increasingly popular due to their numerous advantages. Whether you opt for collapsible plastic containers or sturdy cedar boards, the elevated design of these beds offers many benefits for both plants and gardeners. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of raised garden beds and how they can enhance your gardening experience, particularly when combined with organic growing practices.

The Benefits of Raised Garden Beds:

·       Improved Soil Quality: Raised garden beds allow you to have better control over the soil quality by adding specific types of soil and amendments. This is especially beneficial for plants like cabbage and peppers that have specific soil requirements for optimal growth.

·       Better Drainage: Raised beds provide excellent drainage, preventing waterlogging and allowing excess water to drain away more efficiently. This is crucial for preventing root rot and other water-related issues that can harm plants.

·       Weed Control: Raised beds can help reduce weed growth, as the elevated design makes it harder for weeds to invade the planting area. This means less time spent weeding and more time enjoying your garden.

·       Accessibility: The raised design of these beds makes gardening easier on your back and knees, as you can tend to your plants without bending over as much. This accessibility is especially beneficial for older gardeners or those with mobility issues.

·       Extended Growing Season: Raised beds can warm up faster in the spring, allowing you to plant earlier in the season. They also provide better drainage, which can prevent waterlogging and soil compaction, extending the growing season for your plants.

Organic Gardening in Raised Beds:

When practicing organic gardening in raised beds, you can further enhance the health and productivity of your plants. By avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, you can create a more sustainable and eco-friendly garden.

Here are some tips for incorporating organic practices in your raised bed garden:

·       Use organic soil amendments and fertilizers to nourish your plants naturally without harmful chemicals.

·       Practice crop rotation to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases in the soil.

·       Attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden by planting flowers and herbs around your raised beds.

·       Mulch your beds with organic materials like straw or compost to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil structure.

Raised garden beds offer a wealth of benefits for gardeners looking to elevate their gardening experience. Whether using collapsible plastic containers or durable cedar boards, the raised design provides advantages such as improved soil quality, better drainage, weed control, accessibility, and an extended growing season. When combined with organic gardening practices, raised beds can help you grow healthy, vibrant plants while minimizing environmental impact. So, whether you’re growing cabbage, peppers, or any other vegetables, consider incorporating raised beds into your garden for a bountiful and sustainable harvest.


🙂 Happy Gardening 🙂

Until Next Time

Salena Riley



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At a recent scheduled annual gathering at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in August 2023, a very disturbing event took place, while the Waymakers were participating at the gathering. See the link for full details:

Wayne Riley has written a response in support of the Waymakers Collective


The Waymakers is a group who accepts people where they are on their journey through life. That is how most people want to be accepted. Not with bigotry, hatred, fear or the thought that any of us are lesser than the other. I support the Waymakers and they have supported the Laurel County African American Heritage Center. They did not look at the color of our skin or who we love, to determine if we deserved their money. They looked at what we do, how we do it and how many people our services can help. They did not ask, “How many white people will participate?” or How many wealthy, straight, employed people used our services. They did not ask if we associated with transgender adults or kids or how many were LGBTQ+. They just wanted to support the good we provide to all the people in our community. There are too many biases, stereotypes and wrong information getting out about people. Everyone has heard rumors or a lies about others. But realize none of the rumors were true after getting the facts . There are a lot of stereotypes about the people in Appalachian region, but we know lots of people who are not like what television and news portrays them to be. We know we are people who care about each other and want to help where we can. We must support the Waymakers for what they do for us and other communities. They are good people doing good things to make the world better. We could use a few more organizations like them.

Support the Waymakers for all the good they bring to the world!


Write to Wayne Riley

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Marcus K. Bernard, PhD Chair

Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

School of Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment

College of Agriculture, Communities, and the Sciences

Atwood Building, Suite 102

Kentucky State University

400 East Main Street

Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: 502-597-5758

Fax: 502-597-6127

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