Thursday, July 10, 2014

Raised Garden Beds

A raised garden bed has many benefits. First, you can control the quality of the soil.  Even if you're stuck with not so perfect dirt, you can add store bought organic soil that will create better growing conditions. The sides of the raised bed will stop the soil from washing away as well. Another pro is that the ground will not become compacted because you won't be walking on top of it.  If soil becomes compacted, the plants will not grow as well because air and nutrients will not easily reach the growing vegetable and the roots will not be as strong.With a raised structure, you can easily reach any part of the interior while comfortably kneeling or sitting on the outside. Raised beds can be very attractive and will create an interesting landscape. You can also plant earlier in a raised bed since the soil is warmer because of it's elevation. That means you can harvest sooner!

To build a raised bed, you can purchase a ready made kit or you can construct your own.If you choose to make one, make sure you buy untreated wood so that you can be certain that chemicals will not leech into your food. Of course you can choose to create a bed of any size to fit your needs but a bed that measures 4' x 4' will be accessible from any side. Have your local hardware store make cuts for you to make things easier. Usually the first two cuts will be free, but there may be a small charge for subsequent ones. To make one bed, purchase 3 pieces that measure 2'' x 6'' x 8'. I had two of them cut in half. These will form the body of the bed. You'll need four cuts from the other board measuring 2'' x 6"".These will be used to connect the body together. At home I attached the four longer pieces together with galvanized screws and the small pieces in the corners. Your bed is complete and ready  for planting!

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