So, you just removed that tree stump from your yard and you were thinking when the spring comes that you’d like to take that area of your property and get some good use out of it. Then it hit you- Raised garden beds.
Maybe it popped into your mind. Or you were just surfing the web and found your way here. Regardless, what’s important is now you’re reading this article about how to get such a large project started. First off, let me applaud you for deciding to create a garden with raised garden beds.
Whatever the reason is for wanting to do this, we are here to inform you that raised beds are one of the best ways to garden for many reasons. Not only does it stop erosion and help you avoid compacted soil, the elevated garden beds distribute water to your garden better than a regular garden without beds, and your soil won’t be washed away with heavy rain which is especially important for those reading this that live in a tropical climate.
No matter how you came to this conclusion, whether you knew the benefits or just like the way they look, if you are interested in building a raised garden bed on your property, we are here to help you do that.
This is the most important step of any project really, whether its gardening or you are planning on make your own DIY. You never want to start out without having everything you need to make it a success. As they say, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
So, what is it exactly you will need? Here is a list of things we think are important. Of course, you are free to modify our list. You will need a gardening shovel, a hoe, gardening gloves, a wheelbarrow, and a pile of wood for your beds or stones if you are going with that look.
If you are using wood, some builders suggest cedar because it doesn’t decay like any other wood. They also say, if you are only planning on growing flowers, you can use pressure-treated wood, but do not do this if you are growing veggies. The chemicals in the wood might sip in the soil, get absorbed by the plants and may wind up in your body when you consume the produce.
When choosing where to place your raised garden bed, it is important that you pick a place that gets sun all day long if you can. Most veggies like the sun so much they won’t produce anything if they don’t get enough of it. Pick the sunniest spot in your yard, and you won’t regret it.
You could use 4x4s to build your bed and make them about 8 feet long. You lay them down and use 6-inch nails to secure them. When you add the next layer of wood, you make it so the new piece of wood overlaps the gathering of two pieces below it. This should be done in the corners to ensure the security of your bed.If you are using stones to build it, you should check into specific instructions on how to lay them correctly.
When you build raised garden beds, you may think you need to start digging out the grass but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All you need to do is cover the grass inside your bed with biodegradable weed fabric which comes in rolls at the local nursery or hardware store. Once you have that, do the prep and leave no grass uncovered.
You may have to put down more than one layer of the fabric. Just make sure not to give the grass any chance to grow upward. Also, if you have newspapers and cardboards lying around, you can use that as well as an alternative.
Make sure to leave around 6 inches of room from the top when you are putting in your soil. Once you have it in the bed, the weight of it will compress and keep the oxygen away from the grass being covered, which will then allow it die. In time, it becomes biodegrade and will be a natural nutrient for your plants.
With this arrangement, your plants will have ample room for its roots to grow further down than the bed.
The wheelbarrow will come in handy here because you will be mixing equal parts of topsoil and compost fertilizer, then you will add a shovel of fertilizer to it- a slow-release would work the best. Mix it well and lay it over the soil you just put into the bed.
Compost encourages the growth of your plants' roots, and the fertilizer will feed your plants over time.
This is the best part since you get to decide what you want to plant in your garden. If you have the room, you can build a few beds and dedicate one to lettuces and leafy greens while another for your tomatoes and peppers. Or you can build some thin ones and plant an interesting array of flowers. If you still have a hard time deciding, we do recommend going to a local nursery and ask on what type of plants to grow so that you’ll have an easier time with the project.
With raised garden beds, it doesn’t really matter where you live and what location you want it to be. The bed can give you the utmost benefit in keeping your plot free from weeds, preventing the soil around your plants from being compacted, and providing good drainage when watering. It even protects your plants from being pestered by unwanted insects!
Not everyone knows that this can also be beneficial to older gardeners or people who have back problems in general since it lessens them from bending over. With that said, be grateful for your decision and be sure to make the best of your new raised garden beds!
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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