Creating a Raised Bed Garden
Many homeowners are faced with the challenge of installing a garden because of limited space, heavy shaded structural areas, poor soils that are hard to work with, or living near a beach area where the salt sprays can be damaging plants.
Do not despair because you have come to the right place as I seek to resolve your garden problems and you can have that garden you always wanted, whether a vegetable, a herb, or a flower garden, with some creative thinking you will be well on your way by installing one or more, raised beds.
What is a raised bed? I am glad that you asked, a raised bed is a garden feature or design where your plants are grown in such a way that they do not make contact with the soil surface but is elevated to a point to allow for proper plant growth.
I have seen such designs where persons used soil as a mound to elevate planting areas for aesthetic or for plant health purposes, this too is a type of raised bed. Raise beds can be designed from wood, concrete, hard plastic, or other materials. What I love about these types of gardens is you can design them according to your desire and they do add a touch of class.
You may be living in a condo or an apartment where there is limited space as far as patios, and a balcony is concerned, in this case, a raised bed will allow you to have that garden. Even though this article is not about container gardening, here are some cool ideas from my article on container gardening which you can try, the same principle applies. Just follow this link. Container gardening, gardening the smart way.
You may be facing a condition where the structural design may have certain areas over shaded making it impossible to install a garden because of not getting sufficient sunlight
raised beds give you the option of installing a garden in a sunny location, you also can try container gardening if you prefer. Remember the goal is to be creative and think outside the box.
I know the challenge because I was faced with a few issues concerning a particular garden area it was not until a few hard square plastic containers were used as a raised bed that this problem was solved.
Poor soil profile
There is organic material on the market that can be used to condition your soil that may be of poor quality, sometimes it may take a lot of work for the ideal soil, a suggestion again is to install raised beds and use good garden soil
and save yourself all that hard work. For example, you may have an area that has poor drainage, meaning that in times of heavy rain, rainwater may take up to two or three days before an area is completely dry. In a case like this, a raised bed will work wonders for you.
You may be living on beachfront property and the salt sprays from the ocean may not allow you to plant a herb or vegetable garden in a particular area. Don’t despair you can still find a location on your property and with the help of a raised bed still, have that herb or vegetable garden.
While it is true that some plants are soil tolerant which I have written an article on salt-tolerant plants, herbs must be sheltered from salt sprays because they cannot take the salt.
Building a raised bed
While raised bed may be of the simplest form or the more complex, I know that we can both agree that the main purpose is to ensure that you have the garden you always wanted while ensuring the overall health of your plants. Here are examples of simple and more complex bed designs.
Simple and more advanced
You can build a raised bed as big or as small as you desire, it all depends on where you will be installing the bed and what you will be planting.
Building a simple bed consist of four 2 x 4s wood. Nailed together or you can use brackets, make sure that the frame is solid and firm. Once completed you should have a wooden frame box, just add soil and plants.
For patios, porches, or balconies you will need 2 x 4 s, and plywood. Create a wooden box with legs as shown in figure 1, the inside of the box should be lined with a nylon fabric or other material to protect the wood. The fabric can be held in place by using finished nails that are small or try using liquid nails.
Make sure and drill a few holes to the bottom of the wooden frame to allow for drainage, line the inside of the box with pebbles make sure to cover the entire bottom of the box this will help with drainage also.
Add soil on top of pebbles, fill box leaving about 2-4 inch space from the top, now add your plants and enjoy your garden.
The final word
So by thinking outside the box and letting your imagination run wild, you can come up with some cool designs by having that garden that you always wanted while adding that touch of class.