If you’re into landscaping, you probably already know about the benefits of raised garden beds. They allow you to control the soil and its health so you can adequately grow your plants.
A raised garden bed is a simple concept: it’s a contained bed filled with soil. Its role is to help the plants grow their roots down and outward across the deep and wide growing area of the bed.
With a raised bed, you can put your plants at eye level and have a closer look at every detail. When you contain the soil in a solid structure, it’s easy to work without disrupting the overall shape.
If you live in an area with heavy clay, a lot of concrete, or hardpack dirt, building a raised garden bed may be the best solution for growing healthy plants. When you raise the surface of your garden, you place the plants above the unhealthy soil and prevent the roots from reaching it. With a raised bed, no soil or surface issues can ever intervene with your gardening enthusiasm.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of building a raised garden bed.
There are many raised bed designs to choose from, and they may vary a lot in shape and size. Before deciding on the type of bed, you should first consider your garden space.
While you don’t need too much space to build a solid raised bed, you do need a sunny spot that receives an abundance of sunlight for at least six hours a day. Plants, and especially edible plants, require a lot of sunshine to mature and produce healthy fruit for you to harvest. The sunniest spot on your property should be the home to your raised garden bed.
If you have many trees in the area, you may need to do some selective pruning and enable the sunlight to reach your garden. It’s always best to contact landscape professionals before cutting your trees, though, especially if you aren’t experienced. A professional will know how to do it without damaging the tree.
Some crucial points to consider when you plan the area include:
Keeping the area as level as possible
Many people start with hilly terrain, and experts always recommend digging into the hill, if applicable. You should make sure to get the gardening area as level as possible before you start building.
Providing access to water
Is there a water fixture near the area when you plan to build your garden? If not, will you be able to lay a hose from the garden area to the nearest spigot?
Is it close to home?
Most people who tend to their gardens believe they should spend at least a few moments a day to enjoy the results of their work or to do a little something here and there to help the plants grow. If you place your garden far from home, you may not be in the mood to make the trip to it every day. Moreover, those tasty edibles should be near the kitchen for a fresh, delicious dinner. If they are too far away for you to harvest them when you need them, why even bother growing anything?
Important Factors for Choosing the Right Raised Bed
With so many variations to consider, you should have a starting point when choosing the right bed for your garden. The most important factors to consider include:
- Width: It’s crucial to eliminate soil compaction, and the only way to do it is to choose a width that allows you to work your garden without having to step into it comfortably. You should be able to reach all of your plants without stepping into the garden bed.
- Length: Most raised garden beds are anywhere between 4′ and 8′ long. However, many innovative designs allow you to choose any size you want.
- Shape: Rectangular beds may be most commonly used, but you can also build a round or square bed.
- Depth: Most vegetables require soil depth of 6″ to 8″.
Safe Materials for a Raised Garden Bed
The size and shape of your bed will probably depend on the materials. The soil in the garden bed will have to remain moist, and most materials degrade from excessive exposure to sunlight and moisture.
Most commonly used materials include wood and metal.
Long-lasting wood is traditionally used for raised beds. For example, cedar is rot-resistant, practical, and attractive.
Metal beds are also becoming very popular, especially with recent innovations in powder-coated steel raised beds in many design options. They are stylish, affordable, and long-lasting.
Building a raised garden bed takes time and dedication. While it may be a fun experience for some, others may find it too demanding or confusing. If you haven’t done a lot of gardening before, it’s best to contact professionals so they can help you prepare the area and create a comfy bed for your plants.