It is very easy to fill your garden with beautiful flowers, exotic plants, and even vegetables if you have a raised garden bed.
Raised garden beds are a great way for you to have the garden of your dreams, even if you do not have a lot of space. They can also be used to combat some of the most common issues that all gardeners face, including the fact that they will use high-quality gardening soils so you can avoid hard clay and a lack of nutrients.
These containers can also help prevent pests and offer great weed management, especially when compared to ground level gardening.
Raised garden beds can also help make gardening easier and more comfortable for you, as they will prevent bending at odd angles when you want to manage your plants.
There are a lot of benefits to using a raised garden bed, and luckily they are easy to make yourself. It is even possible for you to make your own raised garden bed within a weekend – even if you are a complete novice to the field.
It is possible for you to purchase a raised garden bed, or you could even use a building kit to make the process easier for you. However, making your own raised garden bed is easy enough to do without any additional support, and this is our guide to the process.
Step One: Find The Best Location
It is very important that you consider the location of your raised garden bed, as it will determine how successful it will be.
You will need to think about the type of plants that will be in this garden bed and the kind of light, nutrients, and other care that they need to flourish.
For example, vegetables need full sun, which is around six to eight hours a day of direct exposure. This means you will need to place your raised garden bed in a part of the garden that gets a lot of sun exposure if you are planning on planting vegetables.
It is also recommended that you try to locate your raised garden beds, so the long sides are facing north-south with the rows in an east-west orientation next to each other.
Find a location in your garden that is flat as any kind of slope will cause water to run unevenly, which could prevent the growth of your plants and may waterlog parts of your garden.
It is also important to remember that shade is not necessarily the enemy when you are creating a raised garden bed, especially if you are in a hot location. Shade can actually prevent wilting and bolting in some plants.
Step Two: Consider The Size And Shape
You can actually make a raised garden bed in any shape or size that you want, based on the size of your garden and the things you want to plant.
Small and square raised garden beds may be the best option for most gardens and these are certainly the most popular style. They will work in all the gardens and they will have enough room for a range of different plants.
It is recommended that you try to keep the width of your garden bed to around four feet. This is because it will be narrow enough for you to reach into the center from either side, making it easier for you to tend all of your plants or vegetables.
You should try to leave around 18 inches between each of your raised garden beds so they will all be easy to access. Two feet in between will provide enough room for lawnmowers and wheelbarrows so you can tend the rest of your garden easily.
The best height for raised garden beds is around one to two feet simply because it will probably be the cheapest option for building your raised beds. You can go higher if you would like.
Step Three: Make A Frame That Will Last
It is possible for you to make a raised garden bed out of almost any durable material. This can include wood, bricks, concrete blocks, and even engineered wall blocks.
If you want to save money when building a raised garden bed, you could use second-hand materials. As long as they are durable, they can be a good option for the garden bed frame. There are lots of different recycling centers that you can visit for second-hand materials, or you could even ask around your neighborhood for a free option.
The most common material for raised garden beds is lumber. It is important that you stay away from wood that has been preserved with toxins as you may be using your raised garden bed for edibles.
The kind of material that you choose will determine the price of your raised garden bed, but it is often better to invest a little more to ensure longevity.
When you are assembling your raised garden bed, you should use stainless steel or galvanized hardware to ensure durability. Screws and bolts are easier to work with than nails, so this may be the best option for you.
Step Four: Assemble Your Garden Bed
To assemble your raised garden bed, you will first need to measure the site to ensure that it is level and big enough for what you want to do. Take some time to clear this area of turfgrass and weeds to ensure that it is completely level.
Landscape fabric is not an essential step here, but you may want to use it as it can prevent some weeds. However, it can also stop beneficial earthworms and may cause some other issues in water drainage.
It is recommended for you to assemble your raised garden bed on the site, but if this is not an option, make sure you assemble it where it will be easy to move afterward. Remember that some large garden beds can be heavy, even when they are empty, so you may need some help.
You should use inside posts on all corners of the garden bed for sturdiness – 2×2 for smaller beds or 4×4 for larger beds if what we’d recommend. You can also use 2×2 grade stakes to anchor the garden bed at the corner posts or mid-wall locations.
If you are in a location that has burrowing animals, then you will need to take extra precautions. To prevent these animals, you should staple hardware cloth to the bottom of the frame.
Once you have assembled your raised garden bed, you should now move it into the place that you want it. When doing this, you will be able to see whether the land you have chosen is truly level and this will be easy to determine.
If it is not level, move the garden bed and try to make it so.
Step Five: Filling Your Garden Bed
Once your raised garden bed is assembled and in place, it is now time for you to fill it.
To fill your raised garden bed, you should use an online soil volume calculator to estimate your material needs. If you are using garden soil, it should be roughly 50-percent high-quality topsoil and 50-percent compost.
Make sure you are using actual topsoil and not just fill dirt as this can impact how successful your raised garden bed will be. True topsoil should be dark with a distinct earthy smell. It will also break up easily in your hands.
When choosing your soil, you will need to make adjustments based on your climate and the needs of your garden in your location.
Once you have assembled your garden bed, you can make further adjustments like adding greenhouse loops. Greenhouse loops can be very beneficial to your raised garden bed as they can increase growing seasons.
You can use your raised garden bed for a range of different plants.