How To Make A Raised Bed

How to make a raised bed; raised bed gardens are easy to build and maintain.

A raised bed garden is ideal in areas where soil is primarily clay, rock, or sand. Some plants do not grow well in these harsh conditions. A raised bed is sometimes the best solution to the problem of poor soil, and a raised bed will improve drainage problems as well. According to the magazine "Gardening How To", published by The National Home Gardening Club, the article "Higher Ground", written by Paul Peterson, says that a raised bed garden is ready to plant earlier than a typical garden, because in the spring, the soil becomes warmer and drier more quickly than it would in a ground level garden. This can be a real advantage when planting slow growing plants. He also points out that gardening can be accomplished without having to step around plants. He goes on to say that plants can be protected from animals and garden pests easier than in a typical ground level garden. The suggested materials to place around your raised bed for animal control are plastic mesh, chicken wire, and harware cloth. Insects can be thwarted by surrounding plants with garden fabric.

When choosing where to locate your raised bed, consider the type of plants you want to grow and the amount of sunlight the plants will require. The same article suggests the use of compost or other organic material to help hold moisture in sunny locations. It also recommends using lattice overhead if more shade is desired.

"Higher Ground" recommends the use of brick, stone, patio blocks, cinder blocks, wood, or plastic timbers for the frame of a raised bed garden. It warns against the use of railroad ties, since harmful contaminants can leach into the soil. The same article recommends designing a raised bed so the opposite side can easily be reached without having to get into the garden.

According to "Higher Ground", the soil should be loose so it can properly drain. Organic matter can be added to improve the quality and texture of the soil. Also recommended is the use of organic fertilizers. If your soil drains faster than it should, "Higher Ground" suggests mixing in peat moss, compost, or products that help soil retain water. The same article recommends using vermiculite, compost, or perlite if the soil is holding too much water.

Raised bed gardening can produce an abundance of beautiful flowers, plants, and vegetables in areas you never thought possible. It can also add beauty and value to your property. Some of the most spectacular and breathtaking plots are raised bed gardens.

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