Tips On Great Raised Bed Gardening

Despite the fact that everything seems to have ground to a halt, it is important to think about things a bit further down the road. This not only enables you to prepare for when things start back up again, but it can also make you a bit more self-sufficient in the future. This is where planning a garden can be a great idea; it helps to keep you busy now and yields a variety of healthy vegetables and other foods later in the year.

Maybe you don’t have a great deal of space, however, or perhaps the soil from your yard isn’t the greatest. Neither of these prevents you from having a garden, however. There are a few different options available to address these concerns, but you may find that a raised bed garden is exactly what you’re looking for.

What Is a Raised Bed Garden?

First thing’s first: What exactly is a raised bed garden? Essentially, it’s a garden that has a box or other physical container around its border that allows you to add more soil to plant your vegetables and other plants in. In some cases, this can be a few added inches of topsoil.

In other cases, you will have to add a substantial amount of new soil, and some raised beds have so much added topsoil that the plants never actually touch the”real” soil. Regardless of whether you add a little soil or a lot, the growing medium is still raised at least slightly from the bottom level thanks to the garden box that surrounds it.

Building the Garden Box

There are a lot of choices available to you in regards to building a garden box. You can use landscaping timber, bricks, 2x4s, wooden planks or even concrete. Decide on a height that works for you and select a material that you’re comfortable working with or have easy access to. You can design a perfectly sized garden box, or you can make one that has gaps in the corners where your material doesn’t quite line up. It doesn’t actually matter what the box looks like, just so long as it is solid enough to contain your soil and is connected to itself or other supports to keep the sides from falling apart.

Just remember that some materials such as pressure-treated wood contain chemicals that could leak out into the soil over time. If you have concerns about this or are using materials that you understand present a chemical hazard, make certain to stain or seal your materials before use to keep water from penetrating and leaching the chemicals out.

Filling It In

Once you have a workable garden box, then it is time to add some soil. Ideally, you should till the ground soil before adding any additional soil to the box. Add a layer of garden soil or topsoil, then use a rake or hoe to combine the garden soil and your additive soil a little.

From there you can continue adding soil, mixing it together periodically, until you have reached the amount you want in your garden box. In some cases, you’ll have room left within the box; others, the soil will go all the way to the surface. After it’s filled, you might want to water it well to let the soil settle a bit before you start planting.

Planting and Garden Care

With the box constructed and filled with soil, you’re ready to get your plants at the ground. Planting is largely the same as you’d do if you were planting directly into the ground, though your newly filled garden mattress probably has softer soil than your yard.

Water your garden a little more often than you normally would, as raised beds offer more of a chance for water to leak out or evaporate than ground soil does. Feed your plants as needed, remove weeds or grass when it appears, and do your best to keep pests out of the garden. The raised bed itself may deter some pests, and a small chicken wire fence around the edge of the mattress can help as well.

There’s a good chance that your raised bed garden will grow better than an in-soil garden thanks to the quality of its soil and the added control that you have over your garden environment. With proper care, you should be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest in just a few months.

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