Posted 02-24-2003 at 14:14:42
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I don't understand the purpose of raised rows. It certainly DOES NOT retain water better. A raised row is loosened soil, and water will drain out nearly as soon as it's put on. I suppose the loosened soil might make it a little easier for the roots to penetrate, but I'd be worried about erosion, nutrient leaching and things drying out.
A properly prepared flat seedbed will work just as well, is easier to mulch, and retains water better.
That being said, we DO plant potatoes in hills, and regularly hoe soil from both sides over the plants, creating the effect of a 'raised bed', the purpose being that the potatoes have nice, loose dirt to form in.