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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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......
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!