A garden is only as good as its soil, and a raised bed provides the chance to make the best dirt in town. Fill it with bagged topsoil, leaf compost (or purchased mushroom compost), and dehydrated cow manure. Mix it all together, filling the bed to 1 inch from the top. Tip: After planting and seeds have sprouted, cover the soil with shredded bark mulch to help retain valuable moisture.
photo: Make gardening a family affair. Kids and grown-ups can reap the benefits of pride and success.