- Factors to regard when choosing a raised bed
- Raised bed garden ideas
- Location and set-up
- Plants for raised bed
- What to plant
- When to plant
- Raised bed planting
- Tending your garden
Regardless of your vegetable garden size, you may still have a productive garden even if you don’t have much time for it. How? Create a raised bed first. It is the quick route to a bumper crop, even in the first year. This is why:
Garden anywhere… Your landscaping will benefit from having lovely cedar-raised beds. Build a front yard garden, decorate your entryway, screen an eyesore, and grow food there.
More food in less space. Plants can be placed closer together to maximize productivity on every square inch. Additionally, small-space gardening strategies like succession planting and vertical supports guarantee that every square inch is utilized.
Planting earlier. Excess water drains better than in-ground beds, and the soil warms up sooner in the spring. Garden cloth and specialized covers might let you get going even early.
Better soil. Even if the soil at your location is poor, you can start over with a raised bed and the perfect soil mixture.
Fewer weeds. Weeds have little room to thrive in raised beds since they are thickly planted. Removing them from the rich, loose soil is simple when they locate a location.
Easier pest control. Long garden rows make it more difficult to control insects and keep out animal pests. Beds can be readily covered with tailored covers or row materials.
Match soil to plants Plant-specific soil should be added to the beds. Do you want to plant blue hydrangeas, for instance? Before planting, incorporate a soil acidifier into the ground.
Less bending to tend. Since Deep Root Raised beds are 15″ high, planting, caring for, and harvesting plants requires less bending.
Factors to regard when choosing a raised bed
Width. Select a width that enables you to access all plants without stepping into the bed to prevent soil compaction, which is essential for healthy plants. It is recommended to have a width of 3 to 4 feet if you can reach plants from both sides. A 2′ wide elevated bed can be an option if access is restricted to one side.
Shape. The most typical bed shape is rectangular, although other options include square, circular, and even beds with rounded corners.
Depth of planting area. A 6 to 8-inch depth of soil is adequate for most veggies. Large plants like tomatoes and shrubs like blueberries prefer deeper soil, especially if the native soil is poor quality or compacted.
Self-watering options. Our ground-breaking self-watering reservoirs increase the intervals between waterings and distribute moisture more evenly across the bed. Plants generate more and grow better as a result of less watering.
Raised bed garden ideas
Custom-Designed Raised Beds
Raised bed gardens can fit just about any space. You may design an entire outdoor seating area with a bit of imagination. Peter Donegan Landscaping used precise straight lines to create this multi-level raised bed. A lamppost and potting shed are included. You can make seats for the outside dining area by adding a bench piece similar to the one at the rear of the front bed. This garden will seem natural and rustic as the plants mature and the wood ages.
Grow Bag Raised Beds
Since raised bed gardens are well above the subsurface frost line, the soil warms up more quickly in the spring, allowing you to begin planting earlier. Your choice of bed material matters because metal retains more solar heat. However, grow bags are a fantastic alternative because their soil defrosts rather rapidly, and they don’t freeze solid. Furthermore, it is a fantastic technique to supply the heat required for developing Mediterranean plants like sage and lavender. Even while using grow bags might seem too simple, you might quickly have a substantially raised bed garden!
Herb Spiral Garden
Popular permaculture methods include spiral gardens. They expand the area that may be used for planting without taking up additional garden space. You can rapidly construct them out of brick, stone, or wood or just pile them up on the earth. An eye-catching focal point in your garden is created by the distinctive shape and swirl of plants. In this picture, herbs are the preferred plants, but you may use the spiral pattern to produce any kind of plant.
Using animal feeding troughs to construct raised bed gardens is among the simplest methods. No assembly is required, but drill some drainage holes in the bottom before adding the soil. In addition to giving the park an industrial appearance, the metal transmits heat, warming the soil in the spring. Depending on the style you want, and what’s available, you can utilize either new or used troughs. Your choice of what to cultivate will determine whether the plants may need extra water during the hottest part of summer.
Location and set-up
For maximum plant health and productivity, most vegetables should receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The more sun, the better, so locating your garden in the sunniest part of your yard makes sense. Avoid low, moist areas where the ground might remain wet. You’ll need reasonably simple access to a hose because your garden has to be watered during the growing season.
The most important component of a thriving garden is healthy soil. When you fill your raised bed, you immediately have an advantage over a typical garden. You can fill it with a soil mixture that is better than the local soil in your yard. Your plants’ roots will spread out freely in loose soil rich in nutrients and organic matter, giving them access to the water and nutrients they need to thrive healthily.
Get rid of any perennial grass or weeds in the area before putting your raised beds in their final position. To increase drainage and moisture retention in the raised beds, loosen the native soil to a depth of 6 to 10 inches using a garden fork or shovel.
Additionally, even in a raised bed that is only 5″ high, your plants will perceive a 12-18″ bed deep. Gives you enough room to grow full-size tomato plants, carrots, potatoes, and practically any other vegetable you could ever want. Raised beds’ drainage and moisture retention will both improve as a result.
Buy your dirt in bulk, either by the cubic foot or cubic yard, if you’re filling more than one raised bed. Use the soil calculator to calculate the total amount of soil you’ll need for each bed. We advise these ratios in the majority of circumstances:
- 60% of it is topsoil.
- Compost makes up 30%
- Potting soil, a soilless growth mixture made up of peat moss, perlite, and/or vermiculite, makes about 10% of the total.
The volume of the soil varies depending on the source; remember that proportions are approximate. For example, if the calculator says your bed needs.444 cubic yards of dirt, go ahead and purchase a half yard.
A 50/50 mixture of compost and soilless growth media (often referred to as “potting soil”). may be a suitable replacement if you do not have access to high-quality topsoil. Peat moss shouldn’t make up more than 20% of the whole mixture if you decide to add it to the bed. Due to its inherent acidity, peat moss is an unsuitable medium for growing crops.
Plants for raised bed
Given the right conditions, one of the most fascinating aspects of a raised bed garden is that practically anything may be grown there. Think of the opportunities! You want to think about a few things before choosing your plants. Here are some things to think about, as well as some suggestions for planting, in case you need some help. Oh, and if some plant names sound unfamiliar to you, don’t worry; they are all relatively common and simple to get wherever you buy your plants.
Plant the kinds of veggies that you enjoy eating in your garden. If you like salads grow head lettuce, a lettuce cutting mix, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Plant potatoes, onions, peppers, leeks, and herbs if you enjoy cooking. At least one veggie that is unfamiliar to you should be included. Half the fun is in the search.
Simply described, perennial plants live for several seasons or longer. These plants come back on their own every year. Perennials including daylilies, lavender, oregano, rhubarb, raspberries, and hostas do nicely in raised beds. You should be aware that if you plant these in your bed, they will stay there for a long time (unless you choose to uproot them, of course!).
What to plant
The goal of raised bed gardening is to produce as much as possible. Growing as much food as possible while avoiding the urge to cram too many plants in is the problem. Because of the stress caused by inadequate air circulation and competition for water, nutrients, and root space, overcrowded plants can never attain their full potential.
Although you may start most of the vegetables you wish to grow from seed in your garden, it’s often best to start with a plant. Usually, starting with a plant cuts down the amount of time needed to harvest by a month or more. A tomato or pepper plant starts from seed in the garden in a cold climate where the growing season may be fewer than 100 days and will not have enough time to mature before frost. Occasionally, purchasing a few plants rather than an entire packet of seeds makes more sense. If you’re only planting one or two of a particular vegetable (like broccoli or tomatoes).
Root crops like carrots and beets, beans, peas, maize, cucumbers, squash, and salad greens are examples of vegetables that can be put straight into the garden from seed. These crops are sometimes sown directly because they do not transplant well, and placing the seeds where they will flourish is crucial. A packet of seeds is more cost-effective than several six-packs of lettuce seedlings for salad greens, which germinate and grow nicely.
Potatoes can be cultivated from seed, although hardly anyone does. A new potato plant can be grown from a tuber rather than a seed more quickly and easily. You can also plant seeds of onions in your garden. Still, they often go in as plants or as “sets,” They come from the previous crop season and are little, mature onions. Typically, sets are also used to plant shallots and garlic. Leeks are planted as young plants in the garden. Some herbs should be planted, while others (like dill and cilantro) should be sown directly where they grow.
When to plant
When deciding when to plant your garden, there are several things to consider. The kind of plant you’re putting in comes first. Some plants, like broccoli and lettuce, can withstand chilly temperatures. Other plants, including basil and tomatoes, are susceptible to harm or death at temperatures below 40 degrees. The ideal time to plant any crop can be determined by consulting our Vegetable Encyclopedia.
Frost dates and soil temperature are other crucial factors. The primary gardening season in planting zones 3 to 6 is between the first and last dates of the frost. The garden should not be used for cold-sensitive plants until all frost threats have passed. Depending on your growing zone, this typically falls between March and May. Check the USDA zone map if you don’t know your growing zone.
If you cultivate in zones 8–10, heat rather than cold may dictate when to plant what. To avoid midsummer heat, gardeners in warm climates frequently plant in the fall rather than the spring. Others prepare for early fall and late winter planting seasons each year.
Another crucial factor for planting time is the soil temperature. The majority of plants do best in soil that is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Some plants, such as spinach and peas, germinate and grow well in chilly (45°F) soil. Others, like melons and eggplant, require soil warmer than 60 degrees F to germinate or grow properly. For each crop, the Vegetable Encyclopedia offers planting advice.
Tomatoes, peppers, squash, and maize are some vegetables that are usually only planted once each growing season. Other crops, like beans, peas, and salad greens, can be grown, picked, and seeded early, then grown again later in the season for a second harvest. To help you increase production, The Vegetable Encyclopedia offers crop-specific growing (and replanting) advice.
The area must be thoroughly watered to a depth of several inches after the seeds have been sown. Until the seeds sprout and the young plants have developed their first sets of genuine leaves, the soil should remain constantly moist. Before the seedling inside can emerge, most seeds have a tough outer layer that must be softened for several days. The process will be stopped if the soil dries out during this time, and you might have to reseed. Garden cloth (or shade netting in the summer) can cover newly planted areas to keep the soil evenly moist. Once the seedlings are growing and the plants are established, this cover can be removed.
Young seedlings should ideally be put in the garden under calm, cool, and rainy conditions. They will suffer if seedlings are planted on a sunny, hot, or windy day. After planting your fresh seedlings, give them plenty of water. Cover them for a few days with garden fabric if the weather isn’t cooperative. Before the plants can draw moisture and nutrients from the soil, they must have time to grow new roots. You might want to devise another solution to protect them from the sun and drying wind if you don’t cover them with garden fabric. For the first several weeks, ensure to water these young plants every day or every other day.
Raised bed planting
You’ve created the ideal vegetable garden with raised beds or repurposing an old item. The exciting part is about to begin: filling it. Later in the season, enjoy your abundant harvest.
You can reach into raised garden beds to plant and weed, which is one of its advantages. You aren’t trampling the earth by going through the garden. Your garden soil will therefore continue to be beautiful and loose and friable.
Planting raised bed vegetable gardens.
Consider the sun’s direction before planting; you don’t want your taller plants to block out anything behind them. I once ignored the seed packet and planted zinnias in the front of my raised beds. The blossoms reached a height of almost three to four feet! Evidently, they weren’t of the attractive, low-mounding sort. Planting heat-loving fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, squash, etc., needs at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day (preferably closer to eight).
Whether sowing seeds or planting seedlings, read the seed packet or label tag carefully to know what conditions the plants need to thrive.
Why plant intensively in raised beds?
Intensive planting is a practice that minimizes the amount of open area weeds in the garden to thrive. When seedlings are planted closely together, the plants cover the soil like a living mulch, keeping it cool and lowering evaporation.
Plants that do well when planted densely include lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, and arugula.
Succession planting in raised beds
So now we come to succession planting. There’s no reason why you can’t plant new vegetables where your spring harvests, like peas and root vegetables, were pulled out or where your summer garlic yield was taken out. Under your grow lights, you might wish to give seeds a head start. Remember the compost tip when planting: amend the soil to add some nutrients and boost a plentiful harvest. For a garden to thrive, the soil must be in good health.
Tending your garden
Planting intensively keeps weeds to a minimum. You may need to weed a little in the early spring every week, but your weeding chores should be over by midsummer. You should eliminate weeds as soon as they appear to prevent your vegetable plants from competing with them for moisture, nutrients, and root space.
Watering duties should be modest once plants are well-established.
A second midseason fertilizer treatment typically benefits crops that take three to four months to mature. Monthly water-soluble fertilizer benefits almost all plants, mainly if it contains humic acid, seaweed, and fish emulsion. These water-soluble nutrients are quickly absorbed by plants and support their continued health under stressful conditions. This is a simple method for reducing insect and disease issues.
As soon as your garden produces food that appears fit for consumption, you can start harvesting it. Crops are often at their peak of maturity or just before when they are tastiest and most nutrient-rich. Eliminate any damaged or diseased plant material and any spent fruit or foliage. Keep a watch out for pests and take immediate action to resolve any difficulties.
For some plants to develop properly and yield a decent crop, such as pole beans and most tomatoes, a cage, trellis, or other support is required. Additionally, plant supports save space, maintain order in the garden, and facilitate harvesting.
To maintain their health and increase yield, you must fertilize your plants. We advise using an organic fertilizer that is granular, all-purpose, and repeated midway. You might also need plant ties, a watering bucket or wand, and garden cloth (row coverings) for transplanting and frost protection. See all of our raised bed gardening goods for further inspiration.
Mother Nature would happily offer an inch of rain each week to keep our veggies and flowers happy in an ideal world. Because that’s probably not going to happen, we must ensure our plants get the water they need to thrive.
A rain gauge will help you track how much rain has fallen, but that’s only part of the story. The capacity of various soil types to hold water varies. Because each tiny clay particle has a large surface area for the water to cling onto, clay-based soil hangs onto the water. Sandy soil, with its larger particles, allows for rapid water permeability. A healthy loamy soil drains well while also holding some moisture.
Compost enhances the soil’s capacity to provide your plants with the ideal water. Sandal soil can be compared to a wire basket filled with golf balls: turn on the hose, and water will flow right through. Composting is similar to adding sponges; some water still passes through while some are captured by the sponges. Clay soils benefit from compost by becoming more aerated and having more excellent drainage. Plants may drown if the soil remains wet for several weeks because they absorb oxygen through their roots. Compost and raised beds can help stop this from happening.
With your hands, you can measure soil moisture the most effectively. The soil should feel slightly damp—like a sponge that has been wrung out—when you press your finger into it. Don’t just feel the surface; dig your fingertips down to the root zone, about 3 inches deep, at least once per week.
Plants may wilt during the warmest times of the day. This does not necessarily mean that they are dehydrated. Often, it’s only a technique for the plant to stop moisture from evaporating through its leaves. The actual tale can be learned from the dirt.
In a raised bed garden, dense planting reduces moisture loss. Plants cover the soil’s surface and aid in wind protection for one another. Mulching around plants with 2-3″ of shredded leaves or straw is another effective way to maintain soil moisture and add organic matter.
Suppose you decide that your garden does indeed require watering. You then have a few choices, Including a watering wand that will quickly deliver a significant amount of water to the desired location. If you are too busy to water during the week or will be away in August. You can purchase a water timer to activate a sprinkler or soaker hose. Drip irrigation systems with emitters leak water gradually at the soil level. They are a very efficient way to the water.
Don’t let the soil dry out completely to keep your plants healthy and productive. If delicate root hairs die, the plant must direct its energy to re-growing them rather than producing fruit. Water-stressed plants can also become bitter and harsh.