Raised bed gardening has grown in popularity over the last decade or so. A raised garden bed is, essentially, a large planting box used for gardening instead of the traditional method of sowing plants directly in the ground.
The raised beds or garden boxes add an aesthetic appeal to the landscape, while also providing many advantages to the homeowners such as making gardening easier on the body, better weed and pest control, a longer growing season and potentially higher yields.
If you’re toying with the idea of trying out raised bed gardens or even already using them, check out these great tips to make your venture more successful:
1. When you begin planning your raised garden beds, an important consideration is the materials used to construct them, if possible stay away from heavy wood Timbers railway ties and cement blocks. Instead, stick to thinner wooden timber as it will make them easier to move if needed.
2. The idea behind raised bed gardening is to create an easily accessible gardening space that contains high-quality soil, that means creating the beds in a size that accommodates the gardener. A width of 4 inches is the right bed size for the average person; this size allows them to reach across one half of the bed width from either side.
3. Weeds are a nuisance in all gardening settings. To keep weeds from growing up from the ground through your raised beds, simply create a barrier that stops them. Spread a single layer of thick cardboard down on the soil at the bottom of the bed, making sure to cover all of the soil. This will prevent germinating weeds from making their way to the surface.
4. The most expensive part of building raised garden beds is filling them with soil. To cut down on the cost, add a thick layer of partially compost (as grass clippings or leaves) to the bottom of the bed and fill the raised bed with soil. It will not only save you some money, but these materials will also break down over time helping to feed the plants.
5. Row covers and bird netting are an important accessory for gardening, they help to protect plants from extreme sun and temperatures, as well keeping birds and insects from reaching your plants.
6. In the fall, remove all of the plant material from your raised beds and cover the exposed soil with a 2/3 layer of mulch. You can use store-bought mulch or something found in your yard such as fallen leaves or grass clippings. The mulch will help retaining soil moisture over the winter and will add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.
7. Installing your irrigation system before plantation will save you a lot of time and work later. The best ways to irrigate a raised garden bed are drip irrigation and soaker hose.