Raised Bed Gardening Moving To Higher Ground
Raised bed gardening is a good choice in areas, like mine, where the soil composition leans heavily towards clay. Rather than digging up an area of our yard and adding amendments to the soil we chose to plant our vegetables in a raised bed.
But poor soil quality isn’t the only reason to use raised beds. Raised bed gardening has become the choice of most gardeners, and with good reason.
Plants that require good water drainage will benefit from a raised bed. Some plants can handle the excess water that comes about from being in an area that doesn’t drain properly, but most plants can’t handle having their “feet wet”. When purchasing your plants find out about the drainage required for each plant you buy and make sure that it won’t conflict with any of the areas you are considering planting it in.
Test Soil Saturation Level
If you’d like to test the saturation level of your designated garden patch, dig a hole approximately ten inches deep and fill it with water. Check the hole the next day and when all the water has been absorbed fill the hole again. If the second hole full of water isn’t gone in 10 hours, your soil has a low saturation point. This is unacceptable for almost any plant, and is a strong indicator that a raised bed vegetable garden is in order.
Preparing Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Area
There are slightly different preparations that need to be addressed if your prospective garden area is to be located on a grassy area or on dirt. If you want to start a raised garden in a non grassy area, you won’t have much trouble, Just find some sort of border to retain the soil you will be adding. Any lumber will do for constructing the walls of your raised bed. Make certain the lumber is untreated wood. Some gardeners use cinder blocks for the border in their raised bed vegetable garden. Your raised bed should be high enough to allow you to add at least six inches of soil for planting your garden.
Below is a video of an enterprising man who had never built a raised bed before and did it in twenty minutes. This is just one of many options for a raised bed vegetable garden.
If the area you are working with is where grass is growing, it is recommended that you cut the sod around the perimeter of the garden and flip it over. Being one that likes to cut to the chase and make things as easy as possible, I like to lay a layer or two of cardboard directly on the grass which will help discourage the grass from growing again. Once this is accomplished simply add topsoil with a couple inches of compost mixed in to the soil. Now you are ready to plant.
Planting your raised bed garden should be quite easy and enjoyable. You are ready to grow tomatoes , lettuce, squash, cucumbers, snap peas, green beans or any vegetable you fancy in your newly constructed raised bed. It is a simple process and the long term results are worth every bit of effort. Once you try raised bed gardening you’ll never go back to putting your vegetables in the ground.
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