November 27, 2014

Before You Start Your Raised Garden Bed

Raised garden beds are ideal for the individual who would like to make weeding easier and avoid pests like snails or slugs. It’s also helpful for someone who has trouble bending over all the way to the ground or has a yard without the best soil for growing. In addition, they are a good way to provide an extra layer of protection from heavy rains or other bad weather.

Being able to customize your raised garden beds to your own needs and specifications is an important part of gardening. Being able to use the soil you want, and only that soil, will usually have a positive effect on your product. However, it is important to make sure that you have all of the tools and knowledge necessary to complete this project on time and on budget.

It is important to know the difference between raised garden beds and garden planters.

Garden planters are containers with sturdy bottoms that allow the soil and plant to remain together. In general, a garden planter will be one of many and individual plants will not share soil. Their growth and production will be limited to the size of the container they are in and usually have drainage provided at the bottom of the container.

Raised garden beds are just like a traditional garden, but above the ground with a skirting around the corners and allow plants to burrow further into the ground when necessary and appropriate.

Before Starting

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It’s important to know what and how much you will be growing, so that your raised garden beds will be an appropriate size. It is equally important that raised garden beds are in the ideal part of your yard, so that your plants get the right amounts of shade and sun.

Vegetables, herbs and plants that do well with extended amounts of sunlight should be put in an area with little shade, while more delicate creations will need a cooler and more private area to grow.

Raised garden beds are often made of wood. Wood is relatively inexpensive, easy to transport and easy to work with, so it makes sense. If using wood, make sure it’s wood that is not likely to rot over time. Additionally, concrete is sometimes used, as are stone and brick, although those increase cost.

Some people have used bales of hay or straw to create the borders, although they provide only a temporary frame. Hay or straw might be a great idea for someone who is not able to make a permanent barrier or is in the process of creating a more ornate garden bed.

Your garden bed shouldn’t be so big that it’s necessary to step into it, but should be of ample size to hold everything you want to grow. If space and levels of sunlight allow, you may want to build two or more raised garden beds. This will allow you to separate the more fragile seedlings from sturdier ones, and looks beautiful in a well-manicured lawn as they grow. A common size is four feet wide by three feet long, with the bed itself raised about six inches above the ground. It is very important to make sure that your raised garden bed is level on all sides.

Your Garden

Once you have decided what to grow and where to grow it, you will need to make the soil ready.

Remembering that the roots of your plants may go a foot or deeper in the soil, it’s a good idea to remove the soil that’s there. You’ll then need to replace that soil with the new soil, so that the items you are planting will have as many nutrients as possible. When choosing your soil, you may need to do some research into appropriate ways to supplement soil for maximum benefit.

Raised garden beds are a beautiful and simple way to improve the quality of your crop. Besides checking the structural integrity of them annually and perhaps adding some extra soil occasionally, there will be very little you will have to do to take care of the beds themselves. Making them from a sturdy material means that even people with health challenges are able to enjoy gardening.


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