Building a Raised Bed – Advantages.

Building a Raised Bed – Advantages.

Article by Philip Browne

What a labour of love this is going to be. You have probably heard of the recent phenomena that has all wanna be gardeners scouring the internet for plans, ideas, how-to, where, show me, etc, to help me achieve the making of a raised bed. This elegant extension of conventional gardening technique has become very popular in recent years. The reason for all of this is simple. You have literally a confined space where maintenance is almost non existent, weeding is at a minimum, and plants, vegetables, flowers are a lot happier in their newest of raised surroundings. Depending on how particular we are as gardeners, my advice is to locate this in a certain area where upon entering the garden, it will immediately catch our eye.Planning the location.Construction of this needs a little planning and thought for starters. Location of the bed is paramount, a good sunny spot is ideal. If you are positioning this against a garage or boundary wall, this too will be ok. Remember you need to find a level surface for the frame of this bed so as to minimise the danger of water log in any area.First time around the area within the raised bed needs to be dug-up to a depth of 6-10 ins. This creates an ideal setting for the blending of the two mixtures of soil (the existing soil and the new compost/mix etc. that you will be adding to the raised bed).It will also help with aeration within the new bed frame.

Materials to use.Any good lumber yard or hardware store will provide the main material, which are lengths of wood cut to make a frame of in size approx 8ftx4ft. This is about the standard size for beginners. The plans and designs as mentioned earlier are available online. Infill with a good mixture of soil, compost, organic fertilizer etc. A good idea is to spread a layer of gravel in the bed beforehand as this helps with drainage. This is only required if the existing ground is considered to be of a poor quality, ie where the soil tends to hold moisture. Remember that this is the foundation bed we are installing here and will hopefully be used over and over for years to come.

What to plant.The function of a raised bed is predominantly used for vegetables and as a salad patch. It can also be used for other purposes like flowers and shrubs. A good reputable garden centre will advise on what to plant initially. A great deal of satisfaction is to be had from growing your own. So much has been said about we eat and where the produce has come from, the amount of airmiles travelled and so on. The amount of chemicals and pesticide sprays that are used, but alas we never see or hear about. What we sew – we reap, eventually. Happy gardening.

This author is passionate about gardening.

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