Raised Bed Gardening 101

Updated September 9, 2017

raised bed gardening 101

Raised Bed Gardening 101

You may have heard a great deal about raised beds lately, as it seems more and more people are opting for raised beds over the traditional garden. There are many reasons why a raised garden bed may be ideal for you, and you will want to consider these reasons when planning your garden layout this summer season! So how do you know if a raised garden bed is right for you, and if it is, how do you go about planning a successful one? Well the good news for you is we have compiled some helpful information below with “Raised Bed Gardening 101” so you can decide if a raised garden bed is in the cards for you this year.

So what is a raised gardening bed?
A raised gardening bed is a garden that is planted within a (typically) wooden box above ground. Your plants grow up from the box and are never planted in the ground itself. They are typically constructed with wood although materials may vary, and they can be constructed in a variety of sizes.

What are the benefits of a raised gardening bed?
If you live in a cooler climate, a raised bed allows you to start planting sooner. Since the ground tends to be cooler in cooler climates, a raised bed can actually help heat the soil for earlier planting. Even if you live in a warmer climate, a raised bed can help you enjoy earlier planting as well as earlier crops.

strawberries in garden

Here are some other reasons people love raised garden beds:
1. They can be made to any size so your garden is exactly the size that is manageable for you.
2. They can be raised high or even on legs so that you don’t have to kneel or bend to access them.
3. If you have less than ideal soil they still allow you to enjoy a garden.
4. If you are short on space they still allow for you to enjoy a garden.
5. Raised beds are easy to access, care for, and harvest from.
6. A raised bed can be constructed anywhere, creating a garden where there was once empty space.
7. They are earth friendly and made from earth friendly materials.

raised garden beds tutorial

How to you build a raised garden bed?
Raised beds can be done several different ways. You can purchase raised bed kits via Amazon or at most home improvement stores. These will have the wood and hardware you need to create the bed in a size of your choice.

Some people who want smaller gardens or simple herb gardens create their own with wooden boxes, crates, even dresser drawers. Just be sure there are drainage holes so plants can get the air and proper drainage they need. If you want to construct your own raised bed, you are basically building a wooden frame with an empty inside. There are all sorts of free plans on sites such as Pinterest where you are sure to find a simple step by step plan that can give you the raised bed you need.

tilling the garden

How do you care for a raised bed?
You would care for your raised bed just like you would any garden. In fact, you might find it easier to care for. Since you aren’t planting in the ground you won’t have to deal with as many weeds. You might also find that pests aren’t as much of a problem. If you already have an existing raised garden bed make sure to till it before you plant seeds to loosen up the dirt.

What do you do with your raised bed at the end of the season?
At the end of the season you can simply use a tarp to cover your raised bed. Or, you can even enjoy cool month crops like kale and cabbage. You can leave your raised bed in place and use again next year, or if you need to disassemble it you can do that as well.

gardening seeds

Anything else I should know about raised garden beds?
You can plant anything in a raised bed, from chives, to tomatoes, to cutting flowers, to squash. You will find that tending one is easy and they give people who normally don’t have the space to garden a chance to dig in the dirt! They can be a lot of fun, and save you tons of money when all of that fresh produce starts rolling in.

If you are considering a raised garden bed, give these raised garden bed 101 tips your consideration. Happy planting!

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