September 15, 2014

Container Garden Planters

So you want to have a raised garden bed or garden box but you do not want to build on the ground, or you have limited space?

Try container garden planters.

These planters can be crafted by you or you can purchase them premade. Here are some of the benefits of these…

You can grow a variety of vegetables in them, but you’ll need to choose the right size container and ensure it is strong enough to hold the weight of the plants and soil.

Container gardening allows you to place the garden planters anywhere, even on a balcony or on a patio. This makes them ideal for anyone who has limited space or lives in a confined urban area.

Choose those that have a cross slated bottom that holds in the soil but still allows air and water to pass through. Use a heavy duty permeable liner within it to protect the wood structure.

Because these are usually elevated, they are less susceptible to rot and water damage. They are also easier to work with, since you do not need to bend over or spend on your knees. They also tend to be a little smaller, which allows you to enjoy the gardening experience without having to commit to too much work.

wood raised garden beds

DIY Raised Garden Beds: Your Total Plan for Growing Plants Anywhere

Why Is A Raised Garden Bed Right For You?

Good question!

A raised garden bed extends the planting season, offers versatility to the gardener and helps protect your knees by bringing plants up from a level position on the ground.

Also known as garden boxes, raised garden beds are ideal for growing flowers and vegetables virtually anywhere.

Knowing how to build them, how to use them and how to maximize the rewards you get from them is critical. Luckily, it’s fairly simple to do ALL this; both to build a “do it yourself” (DIY) raised garden bed, and to maximze its growing portential.

7 Key Benefits to Raised Garden Beds / Garden Boxes

As easy as they are to position and use, raised garden beds can do a great deal for the user. The following are 7 reasons why you should consider a raised garden bed…

raised garden beds design

  1. They provide good drainage to your plants. This keeps plants healthy.
  2. They prevent the soil from compacting too much, therefore encouraging the growth of roots.
  3. Raised garden beds also keep pathway weeds from entering into the soil, therefore reducing the amount of work you need to do to keep weeds out of your garden.
  4. They allow you to add the type of soil you want, including organic soil and compost soil, without having roots enter into deeper, less healthy soil.
  5. It is easier for many people to tend to plants in a raised garden bed than on a flat surface. You can sit on the edge and weed the garden bed.
  6. The garden’s bedsides create a barrier from many pests. With added fencing along the top, you can even keep out the deer and larger animals.
  7. They are incredibly versatile. When you build raised garden beds, you do so in the size, shape and overall structure right for your space.

For many people, this type of gardening is the best possible solution because it creates a surface that is ideal for planting and makes the gardener’s job far easier. If you think garden beds like these are going to be a good fit for you, the first step is selecting a place to put your bed and understanding how to build a garden box like this. However, before you proceed any further, it’s best a get a more complete understanding of the garden box…

What Is A Raised Garden Bed, Exactly?

Before you select any materials or head out into the yard to get the soil tended, you will first need to understand what makes up a raised garden bed. Generally, the most basic box is a garden planter. It contains elevated sides that allow the box to extend a foot, two feet or more up off the ground. You can design these to be several feet high, which allows you to have more elevation from the colder ground, pests and improved height for ease of clearing.

Most raised garden beds have an open bottom. Instead of building a base or a total box with a bottom, you can build just the exterior walls. This allows your plants to reach deeper and to access the nutrient rich soil under the actual mound of soil you will fill the box with.

On the other hand, it is also possible to create a slatted bottom, which creates more structure. If you add a semi permeable cloth barrier to the base, this will allow for drainage while still allowing soil to remain in place in the box. It is most common, though, to have open bottoms with raised garden beds.

Now that you have a better idea of what a raised garden bed is, let’s get down to business….

Questions or comments? Contact us!

Using Composite Material / Timber For Your Raised Garden Beds

Can you use composite material for your raised garden beds?

Of course, but composite materials are not all natural, so if this is a concern this is not the option for you.  This is not wood you are using, but it does create one of the most durable and weather resistant structures for your garden boxes and raised garden beds. In fact, many ready made raised garden bed kits are constructed from composite materials.

Benefits Of Using Composite Material for Your Raised Garden Beds

This product is made of a blend of materials (and each brand can have a different blend.) Mostly, it is made of wood fibers and a UV protected polypropylene material. Composite products are 100 recycled material – you are doing something great for the environment by using them.

When you use composite timber, raised garden beds will have more of durability. The ABS plastic resident joints make the corners and overall surface better protected from high impact.

The product is also impervious to rot and water damage.

If you want to construct or install a raised garden bed in an area that is damp, wet, low-laying, or experiences an extended period of flooding in the spring, composite material is probably the best route for you to go.

It is one of the easiest setups possible usually taking just minutes to put together (these systems usually snap or click together).

You will find numerous sizes and structure styles, although you will likely purchase a ready made kit for this raised bed design, and not build it from scratch yourself.


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.


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

raised garden bed organic gardening

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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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