Elevated garden beds are a growing trend that seems to be all the rage these days. There are plenty of reasons why this method is preferred over traditional gardening, but for now we’ll focus on what you need to do in order to create your own!
1. Find a central location – You’ll need a spot with enough space and light so you can grow literally hundreds of different types of plants.
2. Level the site – If you’re working with an area that’s sloped, you’ll need to find a way to level it.
3. Dig up the dirt – Make sure there are no rocks or large roots in the way and that the soil is free of debris.
4. Add new soil – The dirt needs to be loosened and enriched in order to grow healthy plants.
5. Make planter boxes – This is where the “raised” part of your garden will reside. You can purchase premade planter boxes or build them from scratch.
6. Make drainage holes – Watering deeply and frequently will help keep your plants healthy, but if the ground is too wet they can start to develop fungus or rot. These drainage holes will lead to a central area that you can easily remove excess water from.
7. Add mulch – This will help keep the soil from drying out and help to keep weeds at bay.
8. Install a rainwater catchment system – You can purchase pre-assembled systems or build your own. It’s a way to collect and retain rainwater on site or even save money on your water bill.
9. Add vines, trees, etc. – Planting seasonal plants that will either grow up or down gives you so much flexibility!
10. Build a fence – Not only does it look great, but it will add some privacy and security to your garden. Plant away – Let your creativity run wild!
How to create a raised garden?
Elevated garden beds can be created in a variety of different ways, but the basic ones are:
The simplest option is to create a raised bed directly on top of the ground where you want it to sit. This is not ideal because the soil will lack any extra nutrients, and it will be difficult to build supports for plants that grow in large pots or require more than one plant per square foot.
The second option is to dig a hole in the ground where you want your raised garden bed. The hole should be about twice as deep as it is wide. Smooth out the inner walls of the hole and fill it with rich fertilizer or compost. Then fill the rest of the hole back in with rich soil until it’s flush with the surrounding grass, dirt, or whatever surface you’re working on. This way you’ll have a crevice for water to drain into while fertilizing your plants from below.
What are the benefits of raised garden?
Elevated garden beds offer an abundance of benefits. First and foremost, it’s easier to build, use, and maintain than a traditional garden bed.
It also means you can grow more plants per square foot than in a traditional garden bed because each individual plant will have its own space as opposed to sharing space with other plants. This adds up to more nutrients being available for your plants as well, which can lead to healthier plants!
Your flowers will also have more room to spread out and look beautiful. It’s also great if you want to add a little privacy to your yard, or if you’re working on a shady portion of your yard that receives no direct sunlight, and you simply can’t grow large plants in an open bed.
Finally, because the soil has been loosened and enriched with new fertilizer or compost, it will be easier for your plants to grow healthy roots. This means they’ll get more nutrients than they would in standard soil, so they’ll become healthier and stronger as well.
What is the best advice for a raised bed gardening?
Water your plants deeply, and do so frequently. You’ll need to make sure the soil stays damp at all times, but be careful not to let it become too saturated. This will cause root rot and fungus to develop on the plant’s roots. With elevated garden beds, it’s important to use a watering system like a drip watering system or overhead sprinkler so you can control how much water each plant receives.
Can I use potting mix in a raised garden?
If you’re using a raised garden bed, then yes!
If you’re planting directly into the ground or are using a large, flat area to create your garden beds, then no. Potting soil can be too heavy for the roots of some plants. It’s also very heavy and can pack down once it’s wet. This can cause anaerobic conditions for your plants, which is what causes fungi and diseases to develop on root systems.
How deep does a raised garden need to be?
The standard depth of a raised garden bed is about two to three times as deep as the height of a standard bed. If you’re adding a raised bed in your yard, then measure your perimeter to get an idea of how big of a bed you need. Since we recommend using potting soil in your raised beds, it’s important that they be deep enough to accommodate it.
How wide does a raised garden need to be?
The standard width of a raised bed is about one and half times the length of the bed. You can’t go too wide because your plants will have some issues if they’re competing for space. Too wide a bed also won’t give you as much fertilizer on each row as a bed that’s more narrow in depth, so make sure you measure your bed width to get an idea of how big of a bed is right for you.
How long does it take to build a garden?
It depends on the size of the area you’re working with. If you’re working with a very large area, then you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort. If it’s only a small area, then it won’t take as much time and effort.
For the most part, though, it’ll take about 3 hours to build an 8 by 4 foot garden bed, if you have all the materials ready to go. Plus another two hours or so for the second side of the raised garden bed.
What do you put on the bottom of an elevated garden bed?
A raised garden bed should have dirt on both sides. This will support the weight of the soil and prevent the plank strips from sinking into the ground. For starters, you’ll need to put down a layer of wood chips or shredded leaves to act as an “anti-slip” surface for your bed. You can also add several inches of composted manure or compost on top of that (to raise the pH and provide nutrients to your plants).
Do you put anything under a raised garden bed?
As mentioned above, you should put down an anti-slip surface such as wood chips or shredded leaves. You can also create a simple bed with just the strips of wood. However, if you’d like to add more nutrients for your garden bed, then you can place a layer of composted manure or compost on top of the wood strips before adding the potting soil.
Is it necessary to put a lining underneath a raised garden bed?
Most people don’t choose to put anything under their raised garden beds. If you’d like to, though, you can add a layer of cardboard or newspaper and then add the anti-slip surface on top. This will help prevent weeds from growing up under your garden bed.
Can I use treated wood for my raised garden bed?
Treated wood isn’t toxic…it doesn’t have any chemicals that might leach into your soil or cause an issue for your plants…but some people consider it to be inorganic. The biggest concern is that building with treated wood will decrease its lifespan to less that 10 years, which could be a problem if you’re using it as a foundation for your raised garden bed.
How long do I need to wait to plant after I put the soil in my raised garden bed?
If you’re using composted manure, then you can plant right away! However, if you’re not using composted manure then you should wait until the worms can fully process the compost. The optimal time to plant your raised garden bed is when the worms are actually taking residence. The worms colonize an area and then they will move through the soil once it’s ready for planting. This process can take up to 4 weeks from when you built your raised garden bed.
Can you use wood or plastic wood chips as a foundation under your raised garden bed?
There are many options you can try if you’re looking for something that won’t add moisture, won’t crack, and will hold up over time.
In most cases, plain old wood is the most cost effective solution. Use pressure treated lumber and stain it to match your garden. Not only does this make it look great, but it’s also resistant to insects and fungus.
You can also use plastic wood for a foundation instead of wood. Plastic wood is made from recycled plastics, which is rich in nutrients than untreated wood and will not rot or crack as easily. It’s also the same stuff used for plant pots!
If you have a lot of soil to move and a lot of work to do, then you might want to consider using a platform frame. This is a strong, lightweight steel frame that helps distribute the weight of your soil evenly across the metal beams. The beams are covered with welded wire mesh that provides protection from weeds and prevents critters from getting in under your garden bed.