August 29, 2014

6 Critical Mistakes You Need to Avoid with Raised Garden Beds

Sometimes, even having the best intentions of maintaining your raised garden bed just do not work out. If you are building raised garden beds in your backyard to grow fruits, vegetables or flowers, it is quite easy to make mistakes that could end up costing you significantly – in additional monetary costs, reduced produce yields, and so on.

Avoid these mistakes and you’ll have more success…

1. Don’t Use Chemical Fertilizers. These will give your vegetables a boost, but they add toxins and kill all of the good microorganisms living in the garden’s soil. By killing those, your plants will not produce as much and will need more hands on attention from you.

2. Don’t Forget About It. Raised garden beds do require a great deal of organization and planning. Once in place, they are less likely to need wedding than traditional, at ground level gardens. However, plan to spend an hour or two a week out in your garden pruning and trimming. This will boost the overall results you get.

3. Don’t Forget to Plan. Each type of plant you put into this type of garden will need special nutrients. You can add all natural nutrients and organic product to your soils to boost the nutrient level if a plant needs it. However, don’t just plant anything here. Instead, plant what the soil is rich in or turn to supplementing with organic nutrients.

4. Don’t just any soil. Look for top quality, organic soil for your garden. There is a BIG difference between organic soils and dirt, too. Dirt contains few nutrients. You want soil that is damp when you get it, as this indicates the microorganisms are alive and doing well. Products with chemical fertilizers do not have the same consistency.

5. Stuffing It Doesn’t Help. You will get more produce and results from plants that are not overcrowded. If you want to grow a great deal, use more than one raised garden bed to make it happen. This is the only method you can use to increase the overall production. Too much will end up harming your plants’ ability to grow.

6. Don’t Get Rid of All the Pests. Did you know that earthworms and other non-plant eating pests are doing more good than harm to your garden? Worms navigate the soil and eat debris, creating more nutrients for the plant to grow in. In addition, the trails they leave behind help to aerate the soil to encourage plant rooms to do well.


Best and Cheapest Raised Garden Beds

Finding the best and cheapest raised garden beds depends upon the purchaser’s needs. After all, the best garden bed for one person would not be at all appropriate for another and the same is also true for the word “cheap”. However, in general there are some strong recommendations on the best and cheap garden beds.

In general, it is usually less expensive to buy the materials for a garden bed and make it yourself. Since making it from scratch isn’t hard, that’s is usually the way for budget-minded people to go. In this entry, we will be addressing ways to get the best and cheapest garden beds by building your own, as well as the ones that come in a kit.

Starting From Scratch

If you know what you’re looking for, and have any experience building small home projects, you are probably a good candidate for doing it on your own. In this situation, the cheapest garden bed could be made from material you already have around, or that you could obtain for free ( or for a very low cost) from someone you know. You could use pieces of heavy-duty plastic that are thrown out by builders, or even bricks or pieces of concrete. Some people have done very well, by using a plastic swimming pool (not the blow-up pool).

There has been a discussion recently about someone who used the empty, large salad dressing bottles from restaurants,( so five gallons or so), to create a border around their garden. I imagine it was not quite as pretty as cedar, but it was very environmentally responsible and free. Scrap lumber could also be used in this endeavor, as long as you are sure it wasn’t treated with any chemicals that could leak into your soil and effect your crops. Pallets that are going to be thrown out would make an ideal source for wood as well, and all it would cost you is an afternoon to break pallets down into usable wood.

Simple, Cheap Raised Garden Bed Kits

If you are careful with the choices you make, and do some shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best deal, you stand an excellent chance of getting a good deal on your raised garden bed. Looking for clearance, sale and going out of business items could save you a lot of money. The important part to this, though, is that you get a good quality item, which is why you’re looking for the best and cheap garden beds today, not just one or the other.

Amazon.com offers some very inexpensive raised garden beds. Here is a sampling of what is available…

In order to save on shipping, you always have the option of looking at retail locations near you. At that time, employees might be able to tell you what people have told them about specific products and what may go on sale or on clearance in the near future. Never forget that the employees who handle plants and take care of customers all day will often know more about products like this than any expert.

Finding the best and cheap garden beds is a challenge for many people, but fortunately it is a challenge that is fun to meet. Experimenting with different mediums, hunting down a good price and finding what works for you is part of the process. You can put as much or as little effort into it as you would like, and by thinking outside the box, you might be able to come up with something that is almost free, very unique and entirely your own creation.

If that’s not what you would like, you always have the option of going to a retailer in your area, picking one out and going home to start your garden. Best, cheap, free, easy are just some of the options you have to choose from when you build your new garden bed.


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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