Literally, I mean raise your garden. Not just raise your garden, but raise your garden right. Do you understand? Raise your garden. Have I gotten my point across? 😂😁There are so many benefits to having raised bed gardens. Whether it is for your veggies or your flowers, I can’t think of one single reason not to do raised beds. Unless of course, you have 5 acres of gardening to do. Let’s dive into the subject and have a look around.
Raised beds have been a bit of a fad recently. However, the concept has been around for quite some time. There are no rules to raised bed gardening and there is an option for most budgets and needs. You could do something simple such as landscape timbers placed down after you remove the sod, or maybe treated 2×12, or logs cut from your property. Or if you wish to have your garden spaces up off the ground, you can build or purchase these and raise them to a comfortable height. These are really great for people with some mobility challenges as well.
If you choose to go with the type of frame that goes directly on the ground, be sure to remove all the sod in that area. Then, you will need to place several pieces of cardboard to put five or six pieces thick. This will prevent weeds from coming up in your garden, or at least, not the ones that may have come up from the roots. However, grass from the mower, the weedeater, and random bird droppings can also produce weeds.
Fill the bed with raised bed soil. Or, you can mix your own with potting soil, compost, vermiculite, and some manure. If your native soil is rich enough you can use that and amend it with compost and vermiculite to provide proper nutrition and drainage. Provide some fencing on one side or something upright for your vining veggies to grow on, such as peas, beans, and cucumbers. You can also use heavy-duty tomato cages. If you place two beds a few feet apart you can use fence wire to make a tunnel. However, if that’s what you intend to do, keep the sunlight in mind you don’t want to shade your other vegetables too much unless it is leafy veggies.
Follow the same steps for those beds that are not on the ground, except, you won’t need to use cardboard. Plus, you will need to be sure that the bottom has adequate drainage. If it doesn’t already then you will need to drill some holes in the bottom so that the water will not gather in the bottom as this promotes fungus or bacteria growth and may cause root rot.
Planting should take place pretty much as you would in a regular garden bed, except that you can plant closer as your walkway will be outside the bed. Raised beds are a great space for companion plantings or garden-to-table combinations such as a salsa garden or a pizza garden, though I have yet to see a cheese or dough plant. Anyway, you get the point. You can also plant herbs in the corners such as oregano or rosemary to help to keep some pests away. Adding a marigold or two or lantana with your other flowers or your vegetables will help to keep the nibblers at bay such as deer! Your raised bed just made their meal easier to get to. Do what you can to keep them away naturally. Cedar beds help keep insects at bay but do little to deter the furry critters. For that job, consider planting smelly deterrents such as lavender, marigolds, sage, or oregano. Our furry friends generally don’t like these.
Well, congratulations on your new raised bed garden. I would love to see your pictures. You can submit pictures on Facebook, by email, or on Instagram
We all look forward to seeing your creations.