Creating Your Own Raised Garden Beds

Using raised garden beds has some advantages over other styles of gardening. Raised garden beds result in improved soil drainage, decreased compaction of soil, and easier maintenance. Also, Raised garden beds are more cost-effective, since amendments will only be applied to the bed areas and not the entire garden. Bigger harvests are to be expected, since plants can be spaced closer in a raised garden bed. For gardeners who live in areas with cold climate, using raised garden beds can enable them to get a head start on planting for spring. In this article, we discuss how you can create your own garden.

1. Choose the area where the garden will be placed. It should be in an area that gets a lot of sunlight, and away from trees and other competing plants. Measure out an area that is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.

2. Clear all the weeds, grass, and large rocks from the marked area. Make sure to pull out the weeds by the root instead of just digging it under. This practice will leave the weed seeds underneath the ground, where they can germinate and later on take root among your vegetables.

3. Decide on the material that you would like to use for your bed frame. You can use wooden planks that have been joined together to form a bottomless box. Alternatively, bricks or cinder blocks can be used to form the sides of your bed.

4. Once the bed frame has been built, dig out the area of the raised garden bed to make it even. Remove any large stones and rocks and break up clods of earth to create a nice, loose soil for planting.

5. Lay a tarp adjacent to the bed frame. Using a shovel, take the top 12 inches of topsoil within the bed frame and shovel it into the tarp. Use a hoe to loosen about 6 inches of soil inside the frame of your raised garden bed.

6. Examine the composition of the topsoil that you have shoveled on to the tarp. If it appears to have too much clay, add one part of sand to every two parts of topsoil. Amend the soil further by adding one part of compost or peat moss for every two parts of soil. Mix everything together well to produce a good texture for planting.

7. Return the amended topsoil on top of the loosened dirt within the bed frame. The bed should be filled up to 2 inches below the rim of the frame (the space is needed for mulching later). Rake the soil to make it even. The raised garden bed is now ready to be planted.



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