Is your garden bed plagued by lousy soil or bad drainage? Do tree roots and weeds creep into your garden robbing valuable nutrients, and making it hard to cultivate?
The answer to a multitude of gardening problems is building raised beds.
- Raised beds can produce large amounts of produce for their size!
- You‘ll conserve on water.
- Beds warm up quicker in the spring, extending your growing season.
- Planting areas won’t compact because there’s no need to walk on them except at planting time. Size or quantity of the beds is up to you.
- Gardening is much easier on the back with raised beds.
- 4’ to 6’is a good width; there’s less reaching when cultivating.
- Beds can be constructed out of untreated wood, landscape bricks or natural stone.
- After cultivation, remove any roots and spread out landscape fabric across the area. The average depth of a raised bed is 8-12 inches, plenty of depth for planting. No tree roots? Even better, your vegetables and herbs will flourish in the extra depth of the soil.
- You can “customize” your soil mix to match the type of veggies and herbs you’re growing. When not using a landscape fabric base; work a couple of inches of compost into the ground soil before adding more soil and amendments.
- Fill the bed in layers of compost, topsoil, sand and peat moss. Composted cow or chicken manure can also be added, it’s your option. Finally, mix your soil and amendments. You do not have to fill the raised bed up completely the first year, the bed will settle some.
- Raised beds drain quicker so to save water you might consider adding a drip watering system; various kits are on the market. A ‘weeper or drip’ hose can be weaved around your plantings than covered with a couple inches of soil mix. Better yet, run a drip hose out of a rain barrel to your raised bed. Rain barrels conserve water and save on watering bills! Remember rain water has a neutral pH, and is free of minerals and chemical treatments which can negatively affect plants.
After the initial cost and work of building a raised bed, you’ll enjoy years of easy gardening!