Doing raised bed make everything more easily and controllable in gardening. Some people use the big planting box for their vegetables, herb or flowers. Raised garden beds or sometimes called garden boxes are good idea for growing small plots of plant. Your garden looks organized. However it is recommended for novice to expert gardeners only.
- You can say goodbye to bad dirt since a raised beds are filled by a customized soil and compost blend.
- It keeps pathway weeds from your garden soil.
- For avoiding soil compaction.
- Providing good drainage.
- The raised beds can prevent from pests such as snails.
- It will help for older gardeners as it prevents back strains when bending over by raising the beds.
- By using raised garden beds, you can grow your favorite plants, feed and soak them just what they need for optimum growth.
- Since the drainage is built into the bed walls, the soil will be hold in place to keep erosion.
- You can put your plants close to each other. It means the water efficiency is maximized.
- More attractive and productive.
As mentioned above, this type of gardening is for – at least – Novice gardener. One of the reasons is you cannot choose any materials to make bed construction, for example, planting vegetables. The bed material must be chosen carefully. You cannot use bed made from Pine that already treated using chromate copper arsenate. It is a toxic chemical that may leak its chemical into the soil. Choose untreated timber material is the best and safest way for you.
Alternatively, you can use concrete blocks for raising the beds, even though it will not look beautiful but it is less expensive than timber – although timber is the best and most common material. However, if you are not on budget, you can buy ready made raised gardening beds.
After all, now let us talk about the size in case you have time to make your “DIY” beds. If you want to buy a ready made one, choose the size as you like.
For the size, you can start from 3 x 6 feet bed. It is good enough for planting tomatoes. So, think before you make, what does the plant you want to put in? The 3 x 6 feet will be narrow enough to reach easily from both sides. The height is 1 – 2 feet to be ideal. You can increase the height you prefer to be but remember that you will put more soil consequently.
After all works done, now you need to put your bed correctly. Put the bed facing south horizontally to get an equal light exposure to all the plants growing in the bed. If you have many kind of plants, arrange them accordingly. I mean to say that you must not put a taller plant in front the smaller one so the light will be distributed well.
Next is digging the bed’s area. It is suggested to dig around 16 inch depth. Check the soil after digging; remove rocks if any so you can put the bed without obstruction. Check also for some roots if any as they will steal the organic amendments which you add to the soil. Remove them out or you can put root barrier instead. Then before you put soil in the bed, level the bed carefully to avoid an unbalanced bed.
The last thing to do before putting soil in your bed, put a layer ½” or ¼” hardware cloth at the bottom to avoid any burrowing pest such as moles. The mesh or hardware cloth should continue for at least 3 inches up inside the bed and be stapled in place.
Image source : Ecofilms Australia
Now, it is the time for adding the soil inside. If you finished with your beds, don’t fill it with dirt from your garden, but use peat moss, compost or soil mix planter. Spread it evenly across the bed. Then spray the soil with water to make the soil settled.
Consult your expert if you find any difficulties or you can find many store that sells raised beds garden to have their advice in detail. Happy gardening!