Raised Bed gardens offer lots of benefits for both new and long-time gardeners. They can be installed in a vast variety of locations, making it possible to have a garden no regardless of whether you have a yard or traditional space to garden. Plus, they're easy to maintain, grow excellent harvests, and look amazing.
Why Use A Raised Bed Garden?
- You don't have to dig up the yard.
- Control over soil quality, health, and composition.
- Easier on the body. You won't have to bend over to plant, weed, or tend your plants.
- More efficient use of space.
- You can have a garden even if your home has poor soil.
- It's easier to observe plant growth and catch problems, like pests and disease, because everything is closer to eye level.
- Plants are less likely to be bothered by animals, like rabbits, mice, and groundhogs.
How To Start a Raised Bed Garden
- Pick a location that receives adequate sun throughout the day (at least 6 hours) and will be easy to water. Try to choose a spot near a water spigot or somewhere a garden hose will easily reach. Once you've selected a site, plan out the size and style of your raised bed garden.
- There's are a multitude of choices when it comes to setting up a raised bed garden. DIY raised beds are a common choice, or you can purchase a raised bed garden kit. If you do an internet search for raised bed kits, you'll get quite a few to choose from! A raised bed garden can be made of wood, metal, recycled plastic, cement blocks, or bricks.
- Wooden raised bed gardens are the most popular since they're the easiest to build and look fantastic. Just keep in mind that the wood will deteriorate over time. However, if you're unsure if this is a long-term project, they're a good choice because they're easier to disassemble.
- Choose a raised bed design that allows you to easily access all areas of the garden bed without straining or stretching too far. You should be able to tend the plants in the center of the bed without difficulty! Most garden beds are square, but you can also build more rectangular versions which are easier to reach across.
- The ideal raised garden bed height is 12-18". This may seem short, but ones that are taller than that often suffer from compacted soil due to its weight. This means plant roots will struggle to utilize the whole space. Most vegetable plants don't need more than 18" for their roots, anyways. If you've got mobility issues, consider setting up a chair or stool by the raised bed and garden from a sitting position. 18" is the perfect height for that!
- The final step is filling the raised bed with soil. The best soil combination is compost, topsoil, and potting soil. Purchasing enough soil to fill a raised bed garden can get costly, and it is one of the main downsides to gardening this way. Every year, you'll need to replenish the bed with new soil. However, you won't have to refill it completely each year. Look into alternative ways of filling garden beds, like the Hugelkultur method, or use straw and grass clipping in the bottom and only add 1-foot of topsoil at the end.
Once you've got it assembled and filled with soil, the fun begins. Time to start planting. You can grow almost any type of vegetable in a raised bed garden, so have fun! Soon, you'll have a whole harvest of vegetables to enjoy.