If you have considered growing in raised garden beds instead of directly in the ground, I think it’s a good idea. Because you will likely have higher yields, less weeds and discover that they are easier on your back than traditional garden beds. Here are some tips you should remember to build your raised garden bed.
- Decide What Type of Beds You Want:
Before installing your raised beds you should decide what type of raised beds you would like to have in your garden. You can build them from scratch or buy pre-made kits that you will assemble. You will also want to decide on the height of the bed. If you have limited mobility, a raised bed with legs will allow you to garden while standing or, if you are confined to a wheelchair, allow you to roll right up to the bed. The length of the bed will be determined by the space you have available, but you never want to make the width more than your ability to reach across the bed. The benefit of a raised bed is to keep the soil loose and never have it compacted. You never want to stand in the bed so being able to reach across is very important.
- Picking the Right Location:
Make sure you pick a location that drains well and is not in a wet spot in the yard. You want the area to get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Keep track of your yard during day and see if there are any shaded spots in the morning or evening that would limit the amount of sunlight the plants would receive.
- Decide How You Are Going to Water Your Beds:
With laying out beds you can make life simple by installing either drip irrigation or by laying out a soaker hose in the bed before planting. These are the best options for getting water to your plants. Of course, you can always do it the old fashion way and drag around a hose but it’s not as convenient and you end of using more water. Rain Barrels close to the beds is another option for watering.
- Adding Amendments to the soil:
For better yields, add compost directly to the beds before planting. I like to use a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite. If you don’t have compost on hand, you can buy organic bagged compost from any nursery or big box retailer such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. Because your beds will drain quicker being raised, adding vermiculite helps to hold in the moisture and keep the soil from drying out to quickly. There are a lot of resources on composting. Depending on what is grown in the bed, you will need to add amendments to your soil each season. Another thing to consider adding is worms. You can buy them direct from a worm farm or dig some yourself to add to the beds.
- Mulch Your Bed After Planting:
There are a variety of options to mulch your bed. You can use shredded newspaper, mulch, straw, or grass clippings. Mulching will help cut down on weeding and retain moisture. Mulching around the beds will also cut down on weeds getting into the beds and make maintenance easier.
- Pest Control:
One of the most common pest that get into raised beds are snails and slugs. You can add metal mesh into the bottom of the bed before adding the soil. Also birds and rodents like to go after beds. The metal mesh screening can keep out rodents also. For birds, apply row covers or netting to prevent them from eating your crop. You can easily add PVC piping to form over the bed and attached the netting or row cover to the PVC piping.
After reading this article, you may see that create a beautiful and healthy raised garden bed is not too hard to do. Just try to apply 6 tips in this article, and I can guarantee that your effort will be paid off with a bumper harvest.
I’m an owner of a small gardening shop and a lawn care blog. I love gardening, especially lawn care. I can spend all of my free time taking care of my lawn and discuss about lawn care experiences with my friends, who have the same hobby as me. My website is a playground of us, where we can discuss everything about lawn care techniques.