There is nothing like hand-picked organically grown vegetables when it comes to flavour and nutrition. Growing vegetables in your own garden comes with a lot of advantages. However, this does not mean that it is an easy job; it can be very tedious. You will have to plant, prune, weed, water, apply fertilizers and keep little pests that want to enjoy your vegetables at bay. Raised vegetable garden beds offer a great way to grow plants and arrange a garden according to your needs.
What is a Raised Vegetable Garden Bed?
This is a gardening system where you can grow your plants in a small area. It involves raising and holding the soil from every side, in a square, rectangular or circular shape. Generally, the width of the raised bed is 3-4 feet while the length depends on your need. Planning a raised garden bed is just like planning a flower or vegetable garden. Here are some tips on how to make raised vegetable garden beds.
Choose an open area that receives so much sunlight and does not too many trees around it. A good drainage facility should also be considered to avoid accumulation of water in the raised garden beds.
The soil should be held in place to allow good growth of plants. There are many types of materials to use such as vinyl, fiberglass, stone, plastic, wood, cinder blocks, bamboo or bricks. Avoid using pressure-treated lumber because its chemical can infiltrate the soil. Ensure the frames are strong enough to firmly hold the soil together. Don’t drain the soil frequently as this can weaken the delicate vegetable plant roots.
In gardening, good soil translates to good growth. Don’t worry if your soil is not favourable as you can make some changes to enhance its quality. Fill the frame with light-weight, humus soil. Humus soil holds additional nutrients and earthworms while microorganisms and acids in the soil break them down gradually over a prolonged period of time. Raise your vegetable beds away from trees as their roots can compete for water and nutrients with the plant. A well-built raised vegetable bed can last for many years and you can easily maintain soil fertility. When it comes to the depth of the bed, it should be 8-12 inches above the ground level to keep the soil warm and offer better drainage.
Growing Vegetable Plants
Pick the best vegetable type as well as quantity. Prepare a layout for the raised beds. Vines can entangle others nearby and so should be grown separately. There should be no taller plants that can cast a shadow on the smaller plants around them. You can grow different plants in the same raised bed and plant them closer in order to make the most out of the space available. After planting saplings, water the plants thoroughly and mulch the plants to maintain moisture within the soil.
Advantages of Raised Garden Beds
No soil compaction: Stepping on the bed can lead to soil compaction, thereby preventing air from moving to the plant roots. Raised beds allow you do any gardening activity from the bed sides, which prevents you from stepping on the bed.
Soil: Raised bed gardening allows control over the soil type and quality depending on your need from one bed to another. Since the soil used to raise the garden bed height is imported, you can choose the soil and change its conditions or fertility by adding composite and fertilizers.
Weeds and pest: The small spaces of the raised gardens allow easier control. The plants are closely spaced leaving little space for the plant weeds to spread. If insects and pests cause any damage to the plants, you don’t have to worry as they are easily visible and can be controlled right from the beginning.
Access: Plants in raised garden beds are easily accessible and you can comfortably carry out any gardening activity from the sides of the garden. Therefore, there will be no need for bending and suffering backaches.
A raised vegetable garden bed does not need costly cultivation equipment and require less maintenance. They bring a sense of orderliness and attractiveness to your landscape. So if you want to enjoy fresh vegetables that are not subjected to unhealthy cultivation practices, just make raised vegetable garden beds.