Build Raised Beds

Build Raised Beds: Watch and read these easy, but crucial, steps on how to build raised beds. Simple step-by-step instructions guide you through the process.

There are a couple of sub-types: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening, Raised Bed Organic Gardening, etc...but building raised flower beds is all the same.

To make a raised bed gardening structure, all you need is: 

A place with the right amount of light for the plants you want to grow.

Something to make the walls of the bed...lumber, bricks, stone.

Good soil or compost to fill it with after it's built.

Building raised beds can also be done by simply raking your dirt into bed-shaped mounds. However, a more permanent bed would be made by stacking bricks, blocks, rocks, or landscape beams, similar to railroad ties.

Railroad ties and some landscaping beams can be used to build raised beds but, are treated with creosote, so these should only be used for beds that will have flowers in them, and not food!!

Vegetables in Raised Bed

Build Raised Beds Step One:

Using stakes and string, outline the bed you want (length and width.) Your best bet is to start on a relatively flat area.

Removing the top layer of sod is next...however, not mandatory. But, removing the sod will allow the roots of the flowers or vegetables to grow through the earth easier than if the sod was left.

I would also recommend laying down a layer of thin cardboard, newspaper, or landscape fabric over the prepared area. This will help prevent weeds from growing through the area.

Build Raised Beds Step Two:

Lay down the first row of wall all the way around the raised bed gardening area.

If it's bricks / blocks / or rock, the second row should be laid in such a manner that no seams align with seams in the bottom row...just like in a brick building. The wall can be stacked as high as needed. *6" minimum!!

If using lumber to build raised beds (2"x6" cedar for 6" height, or 2"x10" cedar for height, etc.), lay out the boards end on end, ( see the above photo ) and either screw them into each other end to end, or even better, use a block in all four corners to screw into.

Build Raised Beds Step Three:

Once the walls are made, the bed is ready for soil. Soil from the same place can be used ( with plenty of amendments ), but what is recommended a good potting soil or compost/manure.

Build Raised Beds Step Four:

Both seeds and plants will grow and thrive in a raised bed!! Use the scatter method when planting seeds, to get full coverage from your plants, and only thin the seedlings that absolutely must go.

A plastic cover over the bed will help the surface retain moisture while the seeds germinate, but must be removed as soon as plants start sprouting.

When starting with plants, simply make a small hole the size of the root ball. Gently insert the plant and scoop the dirt back around the roots, taking care to keep the plant at the same level it is in the nursery pot. Plant them close together so they can help shade each other and keep out the weeds.

Raised bed gardening supplies are few. Most include all supplies you would use in a normal garden (small shovel, hand shovel, fertilizer, watering can, etc.)

**If you need a visual explanation of construction and the supplies needed to build the raised bed, watch my video below by......

Click (ONLY ONCE) on the small arrow at the bottom-left-corner of the screen (not the arrow in the middle of the screen).

Raised Bed Maintenance

Maintenance for gardening raised beds is easy! During the growing season, water as needed (raised beds loose moisture fairly quickly), pluck any little weeds that may appear, and fertilize once or twice a season according to your plant or vegetables needs.

If insects are a problem, a good solution is to cover the bed with fine netting using a simple frame that could be as little as 2-3 feet high. It will let the light in but keeps the insects and pests out. You could then use the same framework in the fall to cover the bed with clear plastic and extend the growing season!

When the growing season is over, you'll need to amend the soil by adding compost or manure. Add to the top layer, and then work it into the top 3-5 inches of the soil. That will supplement nutrients that were depleted during the growing season.

You could also cover the raised bed with plastic over the winter to keep out cats, rodents, etc.

Once you start gardening in raised beds, you'll likely never want to go back to the traditional methods!

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