It has been simply nothing short of a record-setting harvest for our raised row garden this year!

To date, over 1000 tomatoes, 100+ green bell peppers, and a few hundred more of both sweet and hot peppers have been pulled from the garden. And that all comes on the heels of a huge cucumber, zucchini, and garlic harvest.

But perhaps funniest of all, there is still double that harvest amount sitting on our tomato and pepper plants! Yes indeed, it has been both a record-setting harvest year, and a proving year for Raised Row Gardening.

A Record-Setting Harvest

record setting harvest
A Record Setting Harvest – A single day’s picking filled our 11′ long harvest table!

Heading into this year, we knew it was going to be a tough gardening year. With the move down south, we knew we wouldn’t be able to give the garden the daily attention it has always had. We were simply going to have to rely on the system of no-til cover crops and heavy mulch, and hope that it kept the garden in good enough shape for some type of a harvest. And did it ever!

We spent a total of less than 7 days in our garden this past summer. And we both are simply astonished at the harvest. It also amazed us at just how well-maintained the walking and growing rows stayed. Especially without us being in it for weeks at a time.

Whenever we get the opportunity to speak on Raised Row Gardening, we have always stressed that it is a gardening method that can work for nearly anyone. For busy people, for tried and true gardeners, for the young and old. For everyone in between.

It requires no tilling or heavy dirt moving. It is 100 percent organic. And by the third year of implementing no-till cover crops and heavy mulching, there is virtually little to zero weeding. And this growing season, in our own Raised Row Garden – we can certainly testify to that!

record setting harvest
The Raised Row Gardening Book – This has certainly been the year that we put the system to test!

I have to say that with this year under our belt, we can’t wait until we get the opportunity to head out and speak more to gardeners across the country about how simple and effective Raised Row Gardening is! (As if we weren’t already excited enough to talk about it before this year’s harvest! 🙂 )

Here is a quick look at a year in the life of a Raised Row Garden.

A year in the life of our Raised Row Garden

Fall – In the fall, a cover crop (we use of winter (cereal) rye) is planted in the Raised Row Vegetable Garden rows only.

Within a few weeks, the cover crop grows to cover the entire row in a thick, protective layer of bright green turf.

Winter – The cover crop remains in place but goes dormant during the winter months. It protects the soil from erosion, and keeps weed seeds from blowing in and settling in the soil.

This is huge for eliminating weeds the next growing season!

Early Spring – The cover crop comes back to life, greening up and continuing its growth. When it gets to  be about 4 to 6” in height, we begin to mow it off. We take the clippings and place them into our compost pile. Option two is to simply mulch them right back into the growing rows.

Mid To Late Spring – After mowing off the cover crop three to five times, it begins to die off. Early spring crops can be planted . By the time late spring has hit, it has died back, and we plant directly through the cover crop.

record setting harvest
A single day’s harvest – before they really started producing!

We use a post hole digger to easily plant our transplants, and a pick to make easy furrows for our seed crops.

Summer – As soon as the garden is planted, a layer of straw is placed upon the dying over crops. The soil is never left to be bare. It is the key to low maintenance. By the time fall arrives, we pull out the plants, pull back the straw, rake, and replant the winter rye again.

It really is that simple and easy! For those interested in more, we have the entire Raised Row Garden process chronicled in-depth in our book : Raised Row Gardening.

Happy Gardening! Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.

An Incredible Record Setting Harvest – Raised Row Garden Magic!

16 thoughts on “An Incredible Record Setting Harvest – Raised Row Garden Magic!

  • August 29, 2018 at 6:53 pm


  • August 29, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    If you are ending your garden season now, I would cover the beds with plastic for the winter. Kill off all of the weeds, and then start new in the spring. After planting your crops, a thick mulch (we use wheat straw) in the growing spaces is critical for weed control. At the end of next growing season we will remove the dead foliage of the crops, then put in the cover crop or a thick layer of organic material so that the weeds can not enter the soil. Hope this helps!

  • August 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    We let the chickens in the garden after harvest season and before the cover crops go on the ground.

  • August 29, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    And the best part of all, it gets even better year after year!

  • August 29, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I am so glad that you found it just as beneficial as we have! It truly is an amazing way to garden!

  • August 29, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    That’s a great idea!

  • August 29, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    In our book it goes over the entire process of creating a raised row garden. You can also search mini-articles on the website for Raised Row Gardening and can piece together the process. Hope that helps!

  • August 27, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Where do you get your seeds for your cover crop?? I just want to make sure I get the right seeds. We always have so much weeds or grass. Thanks in advance.

  • August 26, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    How does the row become raised? How do you create it in the first place? Sorry – slow learner here. 🙂

  • August 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I’m going to try this with my asparagus patch to keep the weeds away.

  • August 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I did raised row gardening in my front yard this year. The tomatoes were twice the size of the ones I planted in the back yard, and the yields are great! In a few weeks I will add several more rows. I am a believer!!!

  • August 26, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I am experimenting with raised rows for the first time this fall. I can’t wait to see the results! Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas.

  • August 26, 2018 at 11:19 am

    You’ve written about letting chickens into the garden at the end of the season to dig around and eat weed seeds/etc–how does this work with planting the cover crop?

  • August 26, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Your raised beds sound wonderful — great harvest and minimal work this year.
    Our raised beds (especially our 2 beds that are each 100 ft x 4 ft) are overgrown with weeds …. do you have any suggestions on how can get control over them … solarize maybe? We tried wood chips but the weeds grow through them. It is impossible to weed them now!
    Any help would be most appreciated 🙂

  • August 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Where do u get the cover crop

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