A raised garden bed is one that is higher than the rest of the garden. It is more suitable for growing vegetables and other agricultural products. Traditionally, a raised bed garden provides better control over soil conditions. Even if you don't have much gardening time, a raised garden bed can help you achieve a productive vegetable garden. How? Let's discuss the top concerns of gardeners about raised garden bed!
Why Raised Garden Beds?
Raised bed gardens aren't the first steps people have taken in your vegetable garden. But with the deepening of planting, everyone slowly transformed the garden into the form of a garden raised bed. Just like drip irrigation, you'll receive a garden raised bed as the planting gets deeper. No matter how you understand them, raised bed gardens offer gardeners quite a few benefits.
Suitable for Beginners
Raised garden beds are the best choice for beginners. It has a smaller space and is more manageable. It's a high-investment, high-return option that removes a lot of hurdles for beginners.
Easy Gardening Operations
Weeding alone can cause back soreness in gardeners, especially in large gardens. You have to keep managing them. This is a huge drain on your body for a long time. Even a young person can cause potential harm. Surprisingly, a best raised garden bed can reduce the pressure on the lower back. For the gardener, there is no need to bend over to tend the plants. You can even sit on the edge and operate if the wall is slightly below your waist. This is an investment in your body that allows you to enjoy the planting process better.
Plants Grow Better
The soil in the raise garden bed usually begins to warm earlier in the spring than the surrounding soil. It dries faster. So you can grow cool-season crops faster. All it takes is a raise garden bed to extend the vegetable growing season and increase crop options.
If the soil is sandy or clay, the process of amending the soil is slower. A raised bed garden creates healthy soil faster. Fill your garden raised bed with compost, other organic matter, or high-quality topsoil and start gardening. Instead of struggling with bad topsoil.
Raised garden beds also provide a healthier environment for beneficial microbes and earthworms. Because there is no back and forth to compact the soil, nutrient-rich soil can improve the growth of your vegetables.
Keep Garden Clean and Beautiful
Your feet will stay clean no matter the weather. And don't worry about soil being compacted. The neatly arranged vegetables growing on the raised garden bed are both aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing.
Stop Weed Invasion
Lawns have a spreading root system. Weeds often invade vegetable gardens. When you have a raise garden bed, nearby turf cannot spread to your vegetable crops. This will keep your crops healthy and happy.
What Are the Advantages of Raised Garden Beds?
Raised garden beds aren't all about advantages.
Increase the Cost
Planting beds and filling soil cost more than nothing. Moreover, the materials with poor durability and easy damage are used, which need to be repaired and replaced. It is recommended to use materials with low cost and good durability as much as possible. Make plenty of organic compost ahead of time. That way, when you actually start filling your planting beds, you don't need to buy extra soil.
Warms Up Faster and Waters More Often
If your planting bed is high, it will change the temperature faster than the surrounding soil. In summer the temperature will rise higher and the water will evaporate faster. So you will need to water more frequently and add organic mulch to Stay hydrated.
What Raised Garden Bed Material is Best?
Raised bed gardens are exposed to the wind and the sun. Rain and sunlight can cause your garden raised bed to get old over time. Instead of taking the time to tinker, choose one that's durable in the first place. In addition to your budget and personal preferences, you should consider safety and durability. So what is the best material for a raised garden bed? Now let's explore the various raised garden bed materials.
Wood Raised Garden Bed
Cypress trees are naturally rot-resistant, and they are resistant to insect and fungal invasions. Cypress trees grow at a slower rate, but have a higher density. It has an attractive fine wood grain, so it lasts longer and looks good. Cedar is a little less dense than cypress. Aside from the weight, the two are very similar. Mahogany has a unique aesthetic, but it's expensive so we rarely use it.
Composite Wood Raised Garden Bed
It is made from a blend of wood fiber and UV-resistant recycled polypropylene. Has an earthy brown wood grain texture.
- Very light and easy to move.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Weather and corrosion resistance.
- Hollow panels are easily damaged.
- Easy to fade over time.
- Easily transformed.
Stone, Brick Raised Garden Bed
The stone raised garden bed has overall thermal insulation and reasonable moisturizing effect. And it's durable, materials are readily available, and it's relatively easy to build. In addition, it is small in size and can be made into various shapes. In short, stone raised garden bed is also a good choice.
Metal Raised Garden Bed
- Relatively light weight.
- Easy to move and adjust.
- Suitable for many styles.
- It gets rusted over time.
- Excessive summer temperatures can burn leaves and heat the soil too much.
Fabric Raised Garden Bed
Fabric raised garden bed is lightweight and versatile. It keeps plant roots well ventilated. And provide the perfect drainage level for garden plants. You only need to spend very little time to manage them.
Rattan Weave Raised Garden Bed
Weaving from branches is an economical and environmentally friendly way. And more beautiful. The disadvantage is that the durability is low and the production is time-consuming.
Having seen so many materials available, if you are planning to remodel your garden, you may have a general idea in mind. These styles of loft beds all have their place in the market. Either style will make our patio setting look great.
What is the Optimum Raised Garden Bed Size?
The ideal raised garden bed size allows you to easily access the raised bed from the side for planting. No need to step into a garden that compacts the soil.
- Height: 12-18 inches is ideal. Most plants have roots growing in the first 6 inches. The deeper the root, the higher the branch. Going beyond 18 inches can cause structural problems due to the weight and pressure of the soil.
- Width: 3-4 inches is ideal. Four feet provides more clearance.
- Length: The length depends on the size of your space and your budget. You can build a 4'x4' square. It is also possible to build 4'x20' rows.
How to Position Raised Garden Beds？
The position of the garden raised bed is flexible, as long as you keep a few tips in mind. First, it requires a lot of light. There is no doubt that all plants need enough light. The second is not only ventilation but also wind protection. Because high winds can cause damage to fragile plants. So you can choose somewhere close to buildings or tall trees. Finally, the position of the garden raised bed is easy to get water. But don't put it in a humid environment.
What Kind of and How Much Soil Should You Use?
When it comes to soil type, you can buy the best soil you can afford. A triple mix is usually topsoil, compost, and peat moss or black loam. In the US, a 50/50 mix seems to be more common. It's a mix of topsoil and compost. No matter which ingredient you choose, compost is an essential ingredient in the best soil.
As for the amount of soil, filling a raised garden bed may require more soil than thought. These are the best soil proportions.
10% potting soil
What to Put on Bottom of Raised Garden Bed?
Many people ask what to put on the bottom of a raised garden bed. It's easy to answer. You can place a layer of leaves, sawdust, grass clippings, straw, or other organic material on the bottom. Organic material turns into compost, making your soil more fertile. Then put newspaper or cardboard on top. They keep weeds away.
Some people will ask if you can use carpet or plastic bags instead of newspapers? The answer is no. They will slow down the drainage of the garden raised bed. It also restricts the root growth of vegetables.
How to Layer Soil in a Raised Garden Bed?
After you have prepared your raised garden bed with newspaper and a weedmat, you can layer your soil.
Layer 1: Bark flake mulch.
Layer 2: Soil.
Layer 3: Hay.
Layer 4: Large shavings. (Like palm leaves.)
Layer 5: Soil.
Layer 6: Hay and grass clippings.
Layer 7: Organic fertilizer and manure. (Horse manure works well.)
Layer 8: Compost.
Layer 9: Hay.
How Deep Should a Raised Garden Bed Be?
When you look into the depth of raised garden beds, I want to tell you that there is no one-size-fits-all rule. But in my experience the minimum height is 6 inches. This height is sufficient for plants with very shallow root structures. A taller raised garden bed allows us to maximize the use of planting space, thereby increasing productivity.
Depending on the plant type, I have compiled the ideal raised garden bed depth:
- Herbs - 6 inches (15cm) deep
- Lettuce - 6 inches (15cm) deep
- Carrots - 12 inches (30cm) deep
- Radishes - 12 inches (30cm) deep
- Peppers - 12 inches (30cm) deep
- Tomatoes - 18 inches (45cm) deep
- Cucumbers - 18 inches (45cm) deep
- Squash/Zucchini - 18 inches (45cm) deep
- Kale - 18 inches (45cm) deep
What to Plant in A Raised Garden Bed?
What can you grow in a raised garden bed? The amazing thing is that you can grow anything in a raised garden bed as long as the growing conditions like sun, temperature, etc. are right.
Nutrient-rich, well-drained soil is ideal for all varieties of melon. They can thrive on raised beds. You can set up a shelf for these vines to climb freely.
Raised beds provide the best conditions for strawberries to thrive, with warm soil and full sun. Also helps protect strawberry plants from other pests.
Carrots are root plants. Raised beds provide loose soil and are well drained. Plus, they don't have to compete with weeds.
- Flowers and Herbs
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Raised Garden Beds?
Although squirrels are cute, they can also be extremely destructive to garden raised beds. They will climb up and down and destroy your harvest. This will make you very sick. Here are some ways to keep squirrels away from the garden raised bed.
- When your plants are young, use a hard plastic sheet as a cover.
- Some squirrels may be looking for water when they are biting tomatoes, so you can give them a source of water.
- Sprinkle peppers around the garden. But this could hurt the squirrel.
- Spray a mixture of salad oil, horseradish, garlic, and chili peppers around the garden.
- Sprinkle blood meal around the garden. But you need to re-spray after it rains.
- You can sprinkle some cat hair. You can also try using cat litter as mulch where appropriate.
- Sprinkle chicken manure.
It's a great thing to start a raised garden bed. For beginners, you can create your own garden. A best raised garden bed can make garden work easier. Frankly, aesthetically, it's also a sight to behold in your home.
I thought of a few of the most common questions about raised garden beds and wrote this article. This is enough to solve one of your attempts. If you are also interested in other questions, welcome to discuss in the comment area.