If you’re looking for inspiration on spring garden projects, this guest post from gardening and home repair enthusiast David Miller exploring the world of raised bed gardening is a great place to start.
Heading towards spring and the return of warm weather, it’s always fun to think of the different ways we can work to improve our gardens. Whether it’s something as simple as planting a few new bulbs, or something as involved as constructing a new garden fence, there’s always some kind of project that can be done to make your outdoor space look nicer and feel more like your own.
In this post I want to talk about something that falls in the middle of that spectrum, in between planting efforts and the installation of garden furniture. Here are some tips for adding a raised planting bed to your garden space.
Why A Raised Bed?
If you don’t have a whole lot of gardening experience or you’re not used to raised beds, they might strike you as unnecessary. They’re like miniature gardens in a box, and while they’re not definitively “better” than a traditional plot, there are a lot of perks to using a raised bed that any gardener can appreciate. This list helps to explain some of the benefits that can make a raised bed a worthwhile addition to your garden. I’d point out the improved aeration and drainage, as well as greater control over soil conditions, as reasons to explore raised beds.
Do You Have To Build Your Own?
It’s easy to build your own, but for those that prefer to leave things to the experts, these garden pieces can also be found pre-built and reasonably affordable. By looking through a selection of off-the-shelf options you might get a better idea of the range of available styles beyond the traditional box, as well as other already manufactured structures you might need. Those searching for something prefab can find a wide range of garden buildings and other outdoor projects available at this online page, which also includes everything from tool sheds to picnic benches. There’s a lot that you can easily add to your garden to make it more accessible and inviting, and not everything has to be built yourself.
What To Plant
You can plant pretty much anything in a raised bed, but there are a few things that are particularly popular. One is to use the space to create a vegetable garden, thanks to the amount of control you have over it. Vegetables (and even some fruits) usually don’t require too much space for their root systems, so it can make sense to pack as much produce as possible into a raised bed. Some people also like to use raised beds for standalone flower gardens or, as suggested by this article, to plant things that will look nice during the winter. Because it’s kept off the frozen ground, a raised bed is much easier to manage during the winter and can be filled with winter flowers and shrubs.
How To Get Started
Getting started depends on the specific bed or planter you’re working with, and what you plan on doing with it. You’ll want to consider depth and capacity before you plan your garden more accurately. One common technique is to “double dig” the soil in the raised bed, to provide extra nutrients and water access. From there, it’s a standard planting process and all you need is love, care, and patience.
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