As soon as the ground is thawed and dry each spring, we hook up the “plastic mulch layer” to our John Deere tractor and start to work making the more than 50 beds (each 150-250 feet long) in our 4-acre garden. The rows intended for cool-weather crops are covered with white plastic, while rows for heat-loving plants are covered with the black plastic. The plastic “mulch” comes in special rolls intended just for the machine.
First we stake the drip tape we use for irrigation at the end of the row, then start the plastic rolling. The bed maker digs into the ground, lays the plastic, then covers the plastic back up with dirt as it goes along, with the drip tape coming along below the plastic the whole time. At the end of the row, we cut the drip tape, seal the end, and scoop dirt onto the plastic to keep it from blowing away. And thus, row by row, we make our raised beds!