In an effort to be more sustainable in the desert, we removed the grass that covered our front and back yards a couple of years ago. We covered the remaining clay soil with rock and xeriscaped. Many of our plants and trees are on drip lines under the rock to minimize evaporative losses. In doing this, we save an immense amount of water every month.
After much discussion, we decided to build raised garden beds in the west side of our back yard. The west side of the yard was selected because there is a concrete block wall on this side that will shade the beds from the harsh afternoon sun. Raising the beds accomplishes two things. We can fill the planters with good compost. The second really important factor is all but maybe one of our four-legged critters will be kept out of the beds on their ever-continual quest for lizards.
This is the area we set aside for our raised garden beds.
The area is large enough for four 3′ wide x 11′ long x 2′ high raised garden beds, 2 to the south side of the ficus tree and 2 to the north. To start this adventure, we built the 2 beds on the south side of the tree.