Follow these tips for building raised garden beds from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Whether you’re new to gardening or have an experienced green thumb, raised garden beds are perfect for any gardener. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can learn about the benefits of raised garden beds and what you’ll need to get started.
Reasons to Build a Raised Garden Bed
There are plenty of benefits to building raised garden beds. They can fit in smaller land lots, perfect for growing your own vegetables right in your backyard.
One of the main advantages comes with the soil. The wooden box barrier helps keep pathway weeds out of the soil. Plants are planted closely together, which also combats weeds.The boxes also have great drainage, and prevent soil erosion and runoff. The raised beds can keep slugs and snails out of your soil and away from the growing vegetables, too.
The raised soil also makes gardening easier. It reduces back strain because you don’t have to bend over to garden. Depending on how high and well the bed is built, you might even be able to sit on the edge of the box.
Materials You’ll Need
Raised garden beds can be built with a number of materials. The most popular option is lumber. You can also use concrete blocks, brick or rocks. Concrete and brick can change the pH level in the soil. Some people use railroad ties. New railroad ties have creosote-treated lumber, which is toxic. If you choose to use railroad ties, make sure they’re older. The best option, especially if you’re growing edibles, is a non-toxic, naturally rot-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood. Using thicker boards can help the wood last longer. You can even order a raised bed kit, perfect for aspiring gardeners. You’ll also need plenty of soil to fill the beds.
Tips for Building Raised Garden Beds
Location – Ideally, you want to build your beds where the ground is level and where they’ll have access to sunlight. You’ll also want to build close enough to the faucet for your hose or water system.
Layout – Keep the long side of the garden bed facing south. All your plants will get equal sun exposure; if you face the bed the other way, taller plants can block out of the sun for the smaller plants. Keeping the beds in a straight row can also help if you plan on setting up an irrigation system. You’ll also want to have plenty of room between the beds. Pathways should be big enough to fit a small wheelbarrow and for any other grass maintenance equipment.
Size – Typically, raised garden beds are 4 feet in width, and then either 6, 8 or 12 feet in length. It really depends on the size of your land, and how big of a bed you want. What’s more important is the depth. The boxes need to be at least 6 inches deep. Plants have a 6- to 12-inch rooting zone, so the deeper, the better.
Turn the Soil – If you’re building your beds in an area that’s never been used for gardening, you’ll want to dig to a depth of about 16 inches. This helps you get a better look at the quality and composition of your soil. You’ll also be able to see if there are any roots growing under the garden beds. Roots can steal nutrients you add to the garden. If there are roots, you’ll need to put in a root barrier around your garden bed.
Using raised garden beds is an easy way to start your own vegetable garden. At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, we understand that gardening is a great hobby. That’s why we carry all the lawn and garden supplies you need to keep your garden growing. For more tips on growing vegetables, flowers and more, visit our Gardening blog.