7 Things to Consider Before Preparing A Garden Bed
Building a raised garden bed takes time and several considerations. Since they cost money to create, it's best to invest the right amount of time in planning and designing your garden bed.
Before planting a raised bed garden, you should consider the following things:
1. What to plant on an raised garden bed?
All vegetable plants, flowers, and herbs grow well in an raised garden bed, but root vegetables like carrots, beets, turnips, etc. are great for a raised bed, but you want to make sure the raised bed is 12 inches or larger deep. Instead of these, leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale are some great options for raised garden beds.
Feel free to try and grow all your favorite vegetables.
Growing on a raised bed increases productivity, so vegetable plants are perfect. Some plants that grow well and produce higher yields on raised beds include: tomatoes, green beans, pepper plants, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, and other leafy greens.
2. When to plant on a raised bed?
Planting on raised beds begins in early spring and cools in spring. Once the soil is viable, it's time to start planting frost-tolerant plants.
planting on raised beds is carried out simultaneously with ground gardening; Follow the same advice.
Plant frost-tolerant plants three to four weeks before the final frost date in your area. Warm-season crops, such as green beans and tomatoes, should be planted on raised beds after the last frost date.
3. How big should a raised bed be?
You can make large or small loft beds according to your needs. The most common size is 4 feet wide because the wood is in 4-foot increments, so it's easy to cut the width you need.
The four-foot width allows you to easily walk through the garden bed and enter the weeds or vegetables that need to be harvested without stepping on the soil itself. If you make the raised bed too wide, it will be difficult to reach the middle.
In terms of length, you can make a raised bed according to your needs. Some people prefer eight feet long or 12 feet long. Make raised beds
4. How deep should a garden bed be?
The depth of the garden bed should be 12 to 18 inches, but it varies depending on the contents of the bottom of the bed. When located on grass, a depth of 6 to 12 inches is sufficient. This gives the initial root space to unfold before gradually extending to the bare ground under the bed.
For beds placed on concrete, a minimum depth of 12 inches is required, but the more the better. Some gardeners recommend 18 inches, depending on the product you grow, as some plants have extensive root systems.
5. How to choose the ideal location for a raised bed?
Place the raised bed in the best position in an area with at least six hours of direct sunlight, but preferably more if possible. If the site you choose is uneven, you will need to raze it before building a raised bed
Make sure there are no large trees nearby that may cast shadow on your bed when in full bloom. Large trees also increase the chances that large roots in the soil may damage vegetable plants.
One of the benefits of using raised beds is that they look better, so many gardeners are free to use their front yard instead of their backyard to grow vegetables and other plants.
In addition to the need for sunlight, avoid low, moist areas where the soil remains moist. A well-drained location is necessary because impregnation of wet roots increases the likelihood of root rot or other diseases.
6. How do you prepare soil for an raised garden bed?
Before filling the raised bed with soil, use a garden fork or shovel to break and loosen the dirt underneath.
Try loosening the soil six to eight inches deep. Doing so improves drainage and moisturizing.
You should also remove any rocks or chunks of compacted soil. Any obstacle to root growth, especially root vegetables, can cause problems for your plants.
7. What should I put at the bottom of an raised garden bed?
Place cardboard or newspaper on the bottom of the raised garden bed. Some gardeners prefer to put a layer of grass clippings, leaves, wood chips, or other organic materials under cardboard if they build beds on top of concrete. Raised beds on grass do not need an organic layer underneath. One of the most common questions when preparing and building a raised bed is how to remove the grass from the bottom. Cutting and removing grass manually is a daunting task that requires hours and labor.
This is a simpler solution.
Cut out cardboard (multiple pieces are required) to fit your raised bed and cover the grass. Newspaper is another option, but cardboard kills grass faster by choking grass and weeds. Make sure to remove the tape or labels from the cardboard as they will not break down.
Once all parts of the grass are covered with cardboard, cover it with soil. Over time, the grass decomposes under the cardboard. This process takes time; The best time is in autumn, to give the grass time to decompose in winter.
However, if you do it in the spring, don't be nervous. The roots of your plants will spread and thrive; Try adding depth to the bed.
8. How much soil does it take to fill a raised bed?
Figuring out how much soil is needed to fill a raised bed requires some math. Multiply the width of the bed by the length and depth. It sounds complicated, but here's an example.
If your garden bed is 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 1 foot deep, the volume required for each raised bed is 32 cubic feet of soil. Depending on the soil bag purchased, you will need between 16 and 32 bags. Some earth bags are 1 cubic foot, some are 2 cubic feet.
If math isn't your strong suit, consider using a simple soil calculator. The best of them come from gardener supply companies. Most garden nurseries buy bulk soil if you need a lot of dirt, and if you provide the size and number of raised beds that need to be filled, they calculate how much you'll need.
It is better to buy or create more than you need. Throughout the first gardening season, the soil settles and compacts slightly (not as much as a ground garden bed), leaving you more space to replenish the bed.
9. Do you want to install irrigation?
A drip irrigation system is the most practical way to water a garden, but the best time to set it up is when setting up raised beds, not after they are built and filled.
The hose runs under a path or overlay; It is easy to adapt the bed to where the hose is.
10. When to water and fertilize the raised garden bed?
Raised garden beds need to be watered more often than underground garden beds. Check the soil daily; If it dries under two inches, it needs to be watered.
Avoid overwatering, as watered roots can cause root rot. Watering every other day is enough for a raised bed.
Fertilization needs vary depending on plant growth. Add granular fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and liquid manure halfway through the season to strengthen your plants.
If you haven't dived into using an raised garden bed yet, this year is the time. This simple gardening method can improve garden soil quality and increase garden yield. Grow more vegetables than ever before by using raised garden beds.