Many people ask, what is raised bed gardening? In simplest terms it is when you build a garden that has a frame, and fill the frame with soil so it is above the surrounding territory. Raised bed gardening can be a great assistance to those gardeners who are plagued with poor drainage of their yard. By creating a raised bed, the garden will no longer be overly wet, and thus less susceptible to disease and decay. Additionally a raised bed garden will allow easier access to the plants and vegetables, as you won’t have to bend over, and down as far, as a traditional garden. The soil in a raised bed garden will warm up quicker, than a normal garden, thus allowing you plant certain vegetables in your garden slightly earlier than normal.
When choosing a location for your raised bed vegetable garden make sure you choose the sunniest place in your yard. Once you have gone through all the work of setting up your garden, you don’t want to have to move it to a new location later. Generally you should try to have the rows of your vegetable garden run from north to south. The tallest crops should be planted on the north side of the garden, so they don’t cast a shadow over the rest of your garden. The smaller crops such as lettuce and carrots can be planted on the southern side, as they won’t cast much of a shadow over the rest of the garden.
There are many raised bed garden kits that are available on the market today. Many of these kits are made of cedar, which will resist decomposition. However you can build a raised bed garden out of any material that you choose, such as bricks, concrete, rocks, or wood. If you choose to buy a raised bed garden kit, generally there are multiple layouts that you can choose from. If you are using your own material, you can make a concentric garden, or create any shape of your liking. One of the goals of raised bed gardening is to avoid soil compaction. Make sure you keep that in mind when you are planning your raised bed garden.
Once you have built the frame of your garden you must fill the garden with the proper soil. If the soil in your area is decent you can use this as a base for your raised bed garden. Additionally you should add sand, compost, peat moss, peat humus, and manure. This will allow for the ideal conditions for your garden. Make sure you check the pH of the mixture you have just made as you don’t want it to be too alkaline or acidic. Every year you should till your garden, and top dress it with fresh compost and manure.
Raised bed gardening is much easier than you think, and there is no reason anyone can’t get started with a raised bed garden today. You can even start with a small garden now, and increase it’s size in the future, as you get more experienced, and professional.