Do you have a rocky area in your garden? Or if you might have big trees and you’re not utilizing the garden space around just to protect the roots. Whatever the problem is, you can fix it and utilize such areas and decorate your garden simultaneously.
You might be wondering what the solution is – making raised garden beds! This way, you can even increase the plant yield without much trouble. Follow this article for a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make raised garden beds.
Tools and materials for building a raised garden bed
You need various tools and materials to construct a garden bed. This section gives you a heads up on the required materials and tools.
Drill/Driver and Bits
|Measuring tape||Deck/Exterior Screws|
|Heavy –Duty Plastic Sheeting|
|Saw and Blades||Wide – Mesh Hardware Cloth|
Step-by-step Guide on how to build a raised garden bed
Let’s have a look at the procedures for building a garden bed, shall we?
Step 1. Plan the project
If you are to construct the raised garden bed in your garden, you must choose the location which is best suited for the construction. You can select the location based on what type of vegetation you want in your garden bed.
The size of garden beds is simply up to you. A bed size of at least 6 inches can be used as it provides easy access and has enough space for plant roots to grow.
Step 2. Remove the sod
You can remove the sod from your garden easily by using the sod cutter. Set the depth of the sod cutter as per the manufacturer’s manual and operate it by walking behind it and make sure that it does not miss any grass in your garden.
A sod cutter is very efficient and fast as it helps to cut the root rather than the stem, so it makes the growth of the grass more difficult. When you rent a sod cutter, you must be very specific about the instruction for that model.
When you remove the sods, the unwanted weeds cannot grow back in your garden. You can use this sod to make your compost manure.
However, remember to separate the weeds, which are very hard to break, and you also don’t want them to grow on your compost as you will use that manure later on in your garden.
Step 3. Frame your bed
You shall start building your frame by marking the required length of walls and cutting the wooden planks.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the size of the bed is up to you. You can use timbers of your desired measurements to frame the bed. The best width for a garden bed is around 4 feet such that you can easily reach the centre from the edge.
Measure the height of your garden bed and cut a few timber pieces accordingly for the corner post to support the walls. You can also attach these along the walls of the bed to provide additional strength.
You can simply place the boards in the place where you want your beds to be. You shall predrill the boards beforehand to prevent them from splitting.
Make sure that you leave equal spaces between the holes and drive 3-inches screws to secure the boards. Finally, attach the corner post to the walls to provide additional support.
Step 4. Level the bed
You must ensure that the bed is levelled from all sides. You can quickly check this with the help of the level. If your bed is unevenly placed, you might find it difficult during irrigation. After checking, you can fill the corner posts with dirt to make the posts steady.
Step 5. Cover up the bottom
Before adding the soil to your garden bed, make sure to attach the mesh-hardware cloth to the bottom of the bed frame. This cloth helps you get rid of weed in your garden bed but allows the earthworm to enter to enrich the soil in your garden.
You can also use landscape fibre or even newspapers instead of hardware cloth to prevent the growth of the weed from below. However, you must be aware that the weed can grow in the soil if it falls from above.
You must also remember to protect the woods by stapling the heavy-duty plastic inside of the wall before adding the soil, in case the woods are not rot-resistant.
Step 6. Add soil from the top
Once you’ve covered up the bottom, you can now start to fill your garden bed. You can fill your garden bed with soil within a few inches from the top. Fill the garden bed with a mixture of topsoil, compost, and other organic materials in proportion to give your plants a nutrient-rich environment.
You must also be careful that the soil in your garden bed may dry out quickly initially. During the spring and fall, it is ok. However, during summer, you can simply add a straw, mulch, or hay on the top in order to retain moisture.
It would be best to water the soil with a gentle spray of the hose that keeps the soil moistened. The best time to water your soil is morning when the water evaporates less.
Now, you are ready to grow the vegetable as per your plan. The necessary irrigation system can also be installed on your bed if you have a problem with the water system.
Making a garden bed is not enough. You shall maintain as well as benefit from it in the best way possible. Let’s look at some of the tips to do so, shall we?
Protect from birds and frost
Protect your vegetable seedling from birds and frost simply by adding hoops to hold up a bird netting or a floating row cover. You also need to attach the PVC support tubes for hoops before adding the soil.
Hold the PVC pipe upright to the inside of the bed using two tube straps. The ½ inch screw can be used to hold the tube straps.
Maintain Plant space
You must be fully aware of the size of the plant when it grows to its potential. You should make sure that the plant gets enough space when it gets mature.
If you fail to realize the space required, plants have to struggle to grow, which results in the weaker and non-fully grown plant. So, you must maintain the proper spacing between the plants at the time of planting of seeds.
Maintain the soil nutrition
It is a well-known fact that crops need highly nutritious soil to grow. You can add organic compost manure to cover up the level of nutrients.
There are plenty of other ways to deal with it. You can simply rotate the crop or plant the cover crop during the offseason. It helps to complement the earlier grown plants and add back the nutrients and organic matters to your garden.
The next possible option is to plant oats, clover, and buckwheat as your cover crops. It helps to increase the porosity of the soil in your garden and helps to keep the oxygen and water in your garden soil.
You must place your garden bed in a location that gets a continuous supply of sunlight. Sunlight is essential for the healthy growth of your plant. It must get 10 hours of sunlight during summer. You must be careful that no large building and tree provide shades to your garden beds.
Check garden bed soil
As mentioned earlier, the soil on your raised garden bed must be free from weeds and rocks and should be of high quality. Do not ruin your efforts and hard work that has gone into the making of the garden bed by using poor quality soil.
Make sure you use fertile soil filled with organic and microorganism to help grow the plant. The appropriate proportion of 50 to 65% of the quality topsoil and 45 to 55% of the organic compost manure will provide an excellent base for the plant to grow in your garden bed.
Also, check the pH of the soil of your garden bed after each growing season. If the pH value is high or low, it affects the growth of the plant resulting in discolouration, low productivity, or dying of plants.
Finally, as per your requirement, you can change the soil by using additives or fertilizers to increase its productivity.
Building garden beds take a lot of effort, but once it is built, it elevates your garden aesthetically and provides you with the space to plant the desired vegetables and fruits in your garden.
Various design and construction options of garden beds are available, and you can choose the best option depending upon the space available in your garden. You can easily get the garden beds in your nearby garden store if you want them in your garden without any hard work.