Raised Bed Gardening
Gardening With Raised Beds
Raised beds gardening can be an important alternative for those with soil or climate conditions that aren't conducive to growing a healthy garden.
Living in the Pacific NW our growing season is relatively short. Planting a raised garden would help address that fact and turn it to our advantage.
Raised garden beds come in all shapes and sizes and you get to decide which type suites your needs. There is no reason you can't take some of this information and develop your own style of raised beds.
I will share some of the advantages of raised bed gardening in this article and some resources for more information.
Some Advantages Of Raised Bed Gardening
Raised Beds Gardening
Whether your raised garden beds consist of contained areas or mounds of dirt, there are distinct advantages to this method. Soil improvement, better drainage, and the ability to plant earlier in the growing season are just a few of the advantages.
If you do plant in contained areas, you will probably have even more of an advantage in the end. There is less chance of soil erosion in contained beds but gardening on mounds or slight hills of dirt can work as well.
As stated earlier, where I live, we usually cannot plant until late June. If we plant in raised beds, the planting ground would warm up much earlier and make for a longer growing season.
Raised bed gardening also means less chance of weeds since you can put barriers between the bottom of the ground and the dirt placed on top for planting. The weeds and grass that do take root can be easier to remove and keep in check, as the dirt is not as tightly packed as in traditional gardening.
I really like the idea that you can build your raised garden to any height so that there is less bending and stooping while tending the garden. It would be much easier on the back and joints which I am all for. If you plan properly, you can even make your beds wheelchair accessible.
Lastly, if you raise your bed high enough, it can be a great deterrent for dogs and burrowing rodents that may otherwise harm your garden.
Here is a great article that talks about how the raised gardening beds in the above image were constructed.
Raised Beds Gardening
What Can You Grow In Your Raised Beds?
Raised Beds Gardening Planting Ideas
You can grow pretty much any type of plant in a raised garden bed as you could in the ground or in containers. The one consideration you need to keep in mind is planting and growing space.
Many squash plants for instance need a lot of space to spread out and grow. Our zucchini plants need about three feet on either side to sprawl according to the seed packets. Unless you have a lot of raised bed space, you might want to consider planting your squash in other areas of the yard.
You will need to take into consideration placement for your different plants so that the tall and climbing plants can have the support they need and room to grow vertically without over shadowing smaller plants.
You can plant vegetables, herbs, flowers or a combination of all of these plants in one bed. Companion planting would be great for raised beds gardening.
As long as your plants have the appropriate amount of sunlight and your raised garden beds are well drained, the sky is the limit as to exactly what you can plant in your raised beds.
Lasagna Gardening, by Patricia Lanza - Another Way to Raised Beds Gardening
If you would like to read more about the Lasagna Gardening style, you can read my Lasagna Gardening Method article. I share more tips and photos to help you understand how you can start your own Lasagna Garden.
Make Health Food For Your Soil
Make Your Own Compost Soil For Your Raised Beds
The Growveg.com site offers many articles that can help with your gardening projects. Here is an excerpt that is used with permission -
"Fall is high season for making compost, the finest of all foods to feed your raised beds gardens.
Compost-worthy materials abound this time of year, so all you must do to make a batch is to pile up dead or dying plants, cool-season weeds, fruit and vegetable waste from your kitchen, and maybe some shredded leaves.
Will such a simple project really make a difference in the performance of your veggies next year? You bet it will!..."
Read the rest of this article and check out more gardening posts while there.
image and article excerpt from growveg.com
How To Build Raised Beds Gardens
Here are several How-To videos to help get you started building your own raised garden beds. Click any video for larger view and to watch!
Walks you through building a raised garden bed.
Building a raised bed box to use for your garden.
A simple raised garden bed.
Building a raised garden bed out of fir or redwood, and cedar
Repurposing and recycling to build raised bed gardens for free or very inexpensively
Building a raised bed
Growing food in your raised bed.
Things to consider when building your raised bed garden.
Creating An Edge For Mowing - For Your Raised Beds Garden
I like the look of this mowing edge for a raised bed garden in the photo above! Not sure if I will do it or not but I thought I would share this link here in case there are others that want to go that extra step with their garden.
Visit the article on Home and Garden TV about building a raised bed vegetable garden to see more photos and get the instructions. Be sure to visit the second page for the whole article.
Square Foot Gardening 101 - A Very Popular Raised Bed Style
These ladies take you through the steps of square foot gardening on this Youtube video.
More Gardening Articles by Me
Click any of the article links below for more gardening research and information.
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