I use raised beds because the ground here just steals all the water. I build them out of thick sawmill slabs & usually put slabs in the bottom for moisture retention. That also keeps the ground squirrels, voles, gophers, etc. out. Once the prairie dries up, they will do anything to get in your garden. Then I put raised sides up (poles or boards) staple wire to those, then clear/opaque heavy plastic over that. The wire supports the plastic so it doesn't rip off & blow away. Then you can put a wire lid over that to keep birds & such out (the ground squirrels will climb, too). That's for my tomatoes & peppers that the grasshoppers don't like. For radishes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, etc. I put a lid made of old window screens over it to keep them from being devoured by grasshoppers. Plus, those plants like to bolt (go to seed) when it gets hot, so this gives them that little bit of shade. This is the first year I thought of the window screen lids because the grasshoppers have been so bad, but was delighted that I got through the July heat without anything bolting. And I was able to start more seedlings mid summer because of the window screens helping keep the soil moist throughout the day when I'm gone. That is usually not possible here.