Video:Make a Raised Bed Gardenwith Collen Vanderlinden
Learn how to design and construct your own raised bed garden.See Transcript
Transcript:Make a Raised Bed Garden
What Is a Raised Bed Garden?A raised bed garden is a garden built on top of your native soil. They're great for herbs and vegetables, as well as fruits, such as strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries. Raised bed gardens can be contained when you build a structure to keep the bed intact.
Supplies for Building a Raised Bed GardenWood is a very popular choice to construct your raised bed, because it is easy to work with and is inexpensive. Concrete blocks, natural stone, or brick are also nice options, but there is an added expense and labor to consider in using them.
Some gardeners go the ultra-simple route, and simply place bales of hay or straw in whatever configuration they desire, then fill it with good soil and compost and plant it up. You can build your own wood raised bed garden in "six" simple steps.
Decide Where the Raised Bed Garden Will GoStep One: Select a Site - that has a flat, level area, and gets at least eight hours of sun per day. Also make sure that the area has easy access to water sources.
Raised Bed Garden Size and ShapeStep Two: Determine the size and shape of your garden. Make sure that you can access all parts of the garden without stepping into the bed. Keep the garden to around four feet wide, so you can access the middle of the bed from either side. If your bed is against a wall or fence, it should be no more than three feet wide. In terms of depth, if you have decent subsoil, you can simply loosen the soil with a garden fork and build a six to eight inch deep bed. If your soil is bad, or you are planning to grow crops like carrots or parsnips that need a deeper soil, ten to twelve inches depth would be ideal.
Prepare the Site of the Raised Bed GardenStep Three: Prep Your Site. Prepping mostly depends on the depth of the bed and the plants you're planning to grow there. To ensure that your plant's roots have plenty of room to grow, it is a good idea to dig out the existing sod and loosen the soil. Then simply use newspaper, landscape fabric, or cardboard to cover and smother it, and put your soil and amendment right on top.
Build a Raised Bed GardenStep Four: Construct the Bed - by using rot-resistant lumber such as cedar or one of the newer composite lumbers. Two by six lumber is perfect, as it will give you six inches of depth. Cut your pieces to the desired shape and size, then attach them together to make a simple frame. You can also attach them in a variety of other fancy ways.
Level the FramesStep Five: Level your frames in all directions, using a level. This is a necessary step because if your bed is not leveled, the water will run off of one part of the garden and sit in another.
Fill Bed Garden with Soil, Compost, FertilizerStep Six: Fill Your Bed Garden with a good mixture of quality topsoil, compost, and rotted manure and you're ready to plant or sow seeds.
Maintaining a Raised Bed GardenHappily raised bed gardens require very little maintenance than conventional garden beds. They warm more quickly in spring, allowing you to work the soil and plant earlier. Although each spring or fall, it's a good idea to top dress with fresh compost and manure. As with any garden, mulching the top of the soil will help retain moisture and keep weeds down. Moisture retention is important, because raised beds tend to drain faster than conventional beds.
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