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How to Make Your First Garden Bed

Updated on April 26, 2011

The first garden bed

It is time to start your first garden bed. When you begin gardening, it is a good idea to keep the garden to a manageable size. I suggest the first bed should be no more than 100 square feet. A lot can be grown in this space and you can make it larger in year two, however, until you have actually worked your garden, you do not know how much time you need to keep the garden growing. So start small and assess your progress.

The first garden bed does not have to be square, it could be a rectangle, I suggest a four foot wide by 25 feet long space if rectangular is the shape, circles also make good garden beds. If you choose a circle be sure to include pathways so you can reach all the bed without stepping on the soil. When you step on soil you compact it and this makes it more difficult to work. A eight foot diameter circles is large enough to get started,

The four foot across rectangle allows you to reach across the garden from either side so you never nave to tread on the soil.

How to Make You First Garden Bed:

1-     Select the site. Vegetables need six to eight hours of sunlight per day so place the bed accordingly.

2-     Measure the bed, a measuring tape comes in handy; I have also used a garden hose to lay out the site or string. Attach the string to four stakes placed in the four corners of the bed. Run the string from pole to pole.

3-     You can remove the sod and turn over the soil, add compost and plant or:

4-     I prefer not to disturb the soil. There are many garden helpers earthworms among them that have their homes destroyed when you turn over the sod. Why harm the helpers?

5-     Once the site is measured, water it thoroughly.

6-     Cover the ground in newspapers, making sure to overlap the papers. Try and avoid the colourful advertising and comic section, water.

7-     Add a layer of organic compost, water.

8-     Add more newspaper, water.

9-     Add a combination (50/50) mulch and compost, water

10-  Plant into mixture and water. You can punch hole for seeds and plants and plant directly.

11-  Mulch

12-  You can now add a border around the bed, rocks and driftwood can be used or you can buy garden borders to suit your taste.

Now all you need to do is pay attention to the garden, water it when it needs a drink. Keep an eye on what is going on so you can head off any invasions or disease before they get started. Make notes so you can refer to them when planning next year’s garden; what worked well, what did not?

Take photos as well throughout the season. They are great reminders of how it all worked out. Most of all have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labour, fresh vegetables you grew yourself.

long standing garden

ready to plnt


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for visiting.

  • andrebreynolds profile image

    andrebreynolds 6 years ago

    Wow great Idea. Nice hub,

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Glad you find this hub useful, happy growing and thanks for dropping by.

  • mulberry1 profile image

    Christine Mulberry 6 years ago

    Sounds like great advice. I'm always looking for good information.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Exactly, keeping your feet, out of the garden is good practice, happy growing.

  • CrystalGH profile image

    CrystalGH 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

    Great hub, Bob. I like that you mentioned the narrow garden so everything can be reached. My smaller gardens are generally about 3-4 feet wide so I don't have to step in.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    That was a good garden, the vegetable plot was just behind it. Thanks Paul for stopping by.

  • Paul Wallis profile image

    Paul Wallis 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Good to see that cottage garden, Bob, great but honest PR for us gardening types.