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Building a Raised Garden Bed

Updated on February 24, 2014

Why Build a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden?

Growing herbs in containers on the kitchen window sills is a common occurrence in homes; it provides the "right" greens during the "wrong" months and season. Window-sill plant-pots do not lend themselves to the growing of vegetables so this is another reason to consider a raised bed vegetable garden. When you opt for building raised beds instead of relying on bought supplies, you can use the best soil, mulch, compost and add fertilizer (if you so happen to live in a dessicated, arid part of the world) and soon you will have fresh greens for the table. (Obviously you will still need to protect the plants, give them the right sunlight or fertilize i.e do all the things good gardeners do,)

*thanks to entropyhead at Photobucket for photo.

How do you Define a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden?

A raised bed garden is a garden enclosed on all four sides, filled with soil, and with an open bottom. They can be freer-formed with earth as a surrounding framework but the container type of raised bed is the most popular because you can grow vegetables,flowers or herbs in them and the soil is more manageable and tailorable to the plants than in a normal garden. The plants develop their root system as normal and the roots go down through the wide hole you have made into the soil below. This is great for gardeners who want to grow things in areas with poor soil as well as for anyone else wishing to grow their own vegetables.

How to Get Started

you’re thinking about building a raised vege garden, the first step is deciding where it’s going to go. Veges like a nice balance. A bit of shelter, a bit of shade and decent amount of sun so try to find a spot where they’ll get at least 5 hours of sun a day. A reasonably level site is a good idea as well, and since it’s a fresh food garden try not to have it too far from the kitchen.

What Size Timber

Once you know where the garden’s going, work out the size. 2x 1.8 metres (5 feet 11 x 6.5 feet) is a common size but you can make it just about any size you want. Some people build it with wood from broken-up wooden pallets, or to give it a really rural-chic look why not try a railway sleeper to give it a really good look. Your planks can be about 200x100mm in dimensions as a rough guide rule. If you are going to build it yourself you will need

- timber

-nails

-screws and hammer

-compost, mulch and peat

If you don't fancy hammering away, just order some ready-made raised bed frames. The first approach requires some effort and exertion, but comes with satisfaction as a reward; you would need to locate and get the right materials to build the bed.

There are ebooks out there you can get which will give more info. The great thing about books like the one mentioned in the post below is that,even if you have very little gardening skills, are generally all fingers and thumbs with D.I.Y equipment, or have health issues, you can easily be shown how to build a raised bed. Even if you are over 65!

The frame-it-all units which come in complete packs and you just need to screw them together and install it in your courtyard or the garden. The units are made of composite wood which is great for defying rotting and are compact enough to adapt to any space.

Benefits of Raised Beds

There are numerous benefits to building raised garden beds. It will add structure and beauty to the garden and you will not need to bend over watering your veggies and plants. Also you will find the drainage is better from a raised bed garden than from your average back section or garden plot.

Another big benefit is that you are able to choose the vegetables you wish to plant, view them grow and pick them when needed for the dinner plate! You spend much less than what you would when buying vegetables from the super market. There is another great benefit from investing time and energy in a raised bed vegetable garden - the whole family gets involved.

You may harvest your crops in about two months when the vegetables have matured. After a week you can start over with a new batch of seeds, and get new vegetables for the table!

Materials and longevity

Consider the best materials for building your raised bed. Over time the initial costs of the materials will even out. Stone is pretty enduring, but if you don't live next to a quarry, it's expensive as is cedar, if you are opting for wood. But cedar will outlast pine by a few years. Wood sealant on the wood can help your raised bed creations last a bit longer but it is up to you how long, and to what degree, you want to devote your energies to your new hobby of raise bed gardening.

And if all you want is good exercise, good fun, and good vegetables on your plate, then Raised Bed Gardening will do nicely for you. Happy harvesting!

What Are your experiences with Gardening - ..and would You try Raised Bed Gardening?

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