Link to StumbleUpon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Build a Raised Bed in Five Easy Steps

I'm a big advocate of raised bed gardening. You can custom design the size of the beds. They can be square, rectangular, shallow, deep, or any variation of those aspects. You can select what soil to fill them, which is often better than the natural soil we garden in. You don't walk in them so the soil is less compacted. They're easy to plant, irrigate, weed, and harvest. They warm up faster in spring for earlier planting. They add a sense of order to a garden.


One of the best factors is that they're easy to build, though many gardeners find them intimidating. Here's the basic process of creating raised beds to show how simple it is.

Step 1:  Start with three 8-foot long boards. Cut one of the boards in half. The size of the boards will determine the depth of the bed. 2” x 10” boards will give you a bed up to 10” deep. 2” x 12” boards will give a bed 12” deep.




Step 2:  Arrange the boards into a rectangle and screw them together to form a box. The box will be 4’ x 8’.


Step 3:  Place the box on the ground in an area of the garden that you’ve prepared. Digging up the soil beneath the bed will give roots more space to grow.














 Step 3A:  If you don’t want to dig up the soil beneath the box, you can place it on the ground and spread 5 or 6 layers of newspaper on the bottom to kill the grass. The newspaper will decompose.














Step 4:  Level the box. Add or dig out soil to make all four sides level.


Step 5:  Fill the box with the soil of your choice. This is an important step because you have the opportunity to have better soil in raised beds than anywhere else in your garden. You can purchase custom soil from many nurseries or garden centers.





 That's all there is to to it. Now you're ready to plant.


I built a number of raised beds to create a vegetable garden. Depending on your space, maybe only one or two will fit. The beds don't have to be eight feet long. I have a 4' x 4' bed for my asparagus and another for salad greens. Some of my beds are six inches deep, some are eight, some are ten, and a couple are 12 inches deep. I choose the plants for each depending on the depth that the roots grow.

It only took two days to build an entire garden with seven raised beds and that included the time to make two trips to the garden center for loads of soil.

As soon as the weather warms a bit, I'll be ready to start planting with minimal cultivation or tilling. I'm so pleased with the results from last year that I'm already planning to add three or four new beds this year. That should only be one day of work. How easy is that?
I'm a big advocate of raised bed gardening. You can custom design the size of the beds. They can be square, rectangular, shallow, deep, or any variation of those aspects. You can select what soil to fill them, which is often better than the natural soil we garden in. You don't walk in them so the soil is less compacted. They're easy to plant, irrigate, weed, and harvest. They warm up faster in spring for earlier planting. They add a sense of order to a garden.


One of the best factors is that they're easy to build, though many gardeners find them intimidating. Here's the basic process of creating raised beds to show how simple it is.

Step 1:  Start with three 8-foot long boards. Cut one of the boards in half. The size of the boards will determine the depth of the bed. 2” x 10” boards will give you a bed up to 10” deep. 2” x 12” boards will give a bed 12” deep.




Step 2:  Arrange the boards into a rectangle and screw them together to form a box. The box will be 4’ x 8’.


Step 3:  Place the box on the ground in an area of the garden that you’ve prepared. Digging up the soil beneath the bed will give roots more space to grow.














 Step 3A:  If you don’t want to dig up the soil beneath the box, you can place it on the ground and spread 5 or 6 layers of newspaper on the bottom to kill the grass. The newspaper will decompose.














Step 4:  Level the box. Add or dig out soil to make all four sides level.


Step 5:  Fill the box with the soil of your choice. This is an important step because you have the opportunity to have better soil in raised beds than anywhere else in your garden. You can purchase custom soil from many nurseries or garden centers.





 That's all there is to to it. Now you're ready to plant.


I built a number of raised beds to create a vegetable garden. Depending on your space, maybe only one or two will fit. The beds don't have to be eight feet long. I have a 4' x 4' bed for my asparagus and another for salad greens. Some of my beds are six inches deep, some are eight, some are ten, and a couple are 12 inches deep. I choose the plants for each depending on the depth that the roots grow.

It only took two days to build an entire garden with seven raised beds and that included the time to make two trips to the garden center for loads of soil.

As soon as the weather warms a bit, I'll be ready to start planting with minimal cultivation or tilling. I'm so pleased with the results from last year that I'm already planning to add three or four new beds this year. That should only be one day of work. How easy is that?

1 comment:

  1. I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.
    David

    ReplyDelete