Hello Little Green Growers! Do you have very little spare time to grow your vegetables, a bad back or a garden with drainage issues? Raised bed gardening is what you need! With raised beds, you can increase your vegetable harvest with ease! It takes a bit more effort to set up initially but ultimately its a shortcut, AND you're likely to get a plentiful harvest, even in your first year!
So what is it? A raised garden bed is a contained bed of soil above the ground. The goal is to create a deep enough and wide growing area that encourages your tiny baby plant roots to grow downward and outward.
Advantages of Raised Beds
One of the biggest advantages of raised beds is better drainage. This minimises the chances of rot and fungal disease. You do have to water and monitor a bit more closely in hot weather to ensure the beds don't dry out.
You will have better soil, too, as you can start with an ideal organic soil blend for your plants with fewer weeds.
Densely planting raised beds leaves very little room for pesky weeds!
Raised beds are easier to manage as weeds find it harder to take them over, and they are easier to spot
The soil gets warmer earlier in the season
No big (or little!) feet can step on the soil, keeping it from compacting and saving delicate seedlings!
Also, there is no need to worry if you have a terrible back. Simply build the bed as high as you need!
Are you convinced yet? Get ready to learn how to create your very own raised bed garden!
Create your raised beds
Raised beds can be made from wood, metal or other materials you have to hand
You could start with just one raised bed and depending on the time you have and, of course, space, you can always make more.
There is an array of sizes you can choose from, starting at around 15cm to over twice as high for deep rooting plants or if the bed will be placed on concrete or poor soil. Or go for beds on 'legs' if you want to garden at waist height. The more soil depth, the more freely your tiny baby plants can grow. Roots will increase, and of course, more soil means less frequent watering, ad it can hold far more moisture.
Most baby plants want at least eight hours of full sun each day. The more sun, the better, so locating your garden in the sunniest part of your yard makes sense.
If you plan to do square foot gardening, consider the bed width and length carefully. Generally beds wider than 4 feet are not recommended as reaching the centre will be difficult. Of course if you're tall or have long arms, you might get away with 5 ft wide beds!
Later you can add on grow hoops from hardware pipes to cover with insect repellent mesh or fleece
What to Plant
Now you are ready to grow your own vegetables!
So, what do you want to grow, do you plan on cooking up leeks, potatoes, spring onion, courgette and herbs? Grow them! If prefer your super salads, plant rocket, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumbers and carrots. Grow what you like to eat!