Raised Bed Gardens - An Installation Guide

Many people who love gardening but have less than ideal conditions have found the answer in making a raised bed garden. if you have poor soil in your garden, perhaps lacking in nutrients or it is heavy clay and you have struggled to grow flowers or vegetables then you might consider a different way. In a raised bed you have more control and you can use high quality soil and compost to give your plants ideal conditions for their growth.

This type of gardening is also a good idea for people who may find conventional gardening difficult perhaps because they have physical problems such as arthritis or bad backs or are elderly or are in a wheelchair. A raised garden can be made at an ideal height so that you don't have to kneel down to weed or plant and they can be made accessible for everyone regardless of their physical abilities.

Some Advantages of Raised Bed Gardens

  • In a raised bed you have extensive control over the soil conditions so you can raise plants that may need certain pH's and nutrients easily
  • The soil can be purchased free of weeds so you won't have to waste time weeding.
  • Plants in a raised garden are much simpler to take care of and by and large grow better. The soil doesn't become packed down from people walking on it, so oxygen and nutrients can get through to the roots much easier.
  • Raised gardens heat up faster in the Spring so you can transplant much sooner allowing you a much longer growing period.
  • It is much easier to cultivate a raised garden than a conventional garden as you can put together the garden at a suitable height. For those with physical problems, or are in a wheelchair this is perhaps the only means that they can get pleasure from gardening.
  • Raised beds are much kinder to the knees and back! You will not strain your knees or back from gardening.
  • In a well made raised garden, drainage is superior to that of a regular garden. You will not get waterlogged soil and your plants will develop better.

Where Should You Site Your Garden?

Before you decide where to situate a raised garden view your plot for at least a complete day to find out which areas receive more daylight or which are in the shade. Will you be growing plants that love the sun or those which prefer shade? Find an area where you can have space around the garden to make gardening easier. It would also be beneficial to have concrete paths around the garden to make moving near it with equipment easier. Should you be building one for a person in a wheelchair you have to make certain that access is easy from each side and it is the correct height.

Rustic Cedar Raised Garden Bed
Rustic Cedar Raised Garden Bed

Raised Garden Kits

If you don't not want to build a raised garden yourself there are many raised garden kits available. They come in a range of sizes, shapes and materials the most popular being cedar raised garden kits that are waterproof and guaranteed to last for many years. Kits are easy to assemble and can be delivered to your door. Just fill with suitable soil and compost for an easy to maintain raised garden.

Read more about the Rustic Cedar Raised Garden Bed

Planting a raised bed garden by diroussel
Planting a raised bed garden by diroussel

Adding Soil to Your Garden

When the garden is finished fill it with good earth and compost. A combination of 50% compost and 50% soil is generally suggested. Top soil is generally available to buy in bulk but be wary of the quality as there are no standards in place. Top soil can differ a great deal in it's components. Garden shops also supply soil in bulk and you can be certain that it is excellent quality. You might use earth from your garden but you will need quite a large amount and it might not have all the nutrients needed. It will also certainly have weed seeds and probably stones.

For economy you may perhaps want to combine garden soil with bought soil but take care you mix it completely and preferably do a soil test to guarantee the pH and nutrient levels are satisfactory. Whichever option you select blend in a small amount of sand as an aid to drainage. You might also need to replenish the soil intermittently as it becomes compacted and put in some organic matter on a regular basis. A good suggestion is to raise some ground cover plants for the duration of the winter for protection which can then be dug in in the Spring to increase the level of nutrients.

Conclusion

Raised bed gardens are perfect for everyone, whether young or old as they provide ideal conditions to grow a wide range of flowers and vegetables. For those who are unable to cultivate a conventional garden due to physical limitations they are perfect. They look good and can be easy to install if you use a raised garden kit which will last for many year.

Find out more at How to Make a Container Garden

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